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Correlation Between Perceptual, Visuo-spatial, and Psychomotor Aptitude to Duration of Training Required to Reach Performance Goals on the MIST-VR Surgical Simulator

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Given the dynamic nature of modern surgical education, determining factors that may improve the efficiency of laparoscopic training is warranted. The objective of this study was to analyze whether perceptual, visuo-spatial, or psychomotor aptitude are related to the amount of training required to reach specific performance-based goals on a virtual reality surgical simulator. Sixteen MS4 medical students participated in an elective skills course intended to train laparoscopic skills. All were tested for perceptual, visuo-spatial, and psychomotor aptitude using previously validated psychological tests. Training involved as many instructor-guided 1-hour sessions as needed to reach performance goals on a custom designed MIST-VR manipulation-diathermy task (Mentice AB, Gothenberg, Sweden). Thirteen subjects reached performance goals by the end of the course. Two were excluded from analysis due to previous experience with the MIST-VR (total n = 11). Perceptual ability (r = −0.76, P = 0.007) and psychomotor skills (r = 0.62, P = 0.04) significantly correlated with the number of trials required. Visuo-spatial ability did not significantly correlate with training duration. The number of trials required to train subjects to performance goals on the MIST-VR manipulation diathermy task is significantly related to perceptual and psychomotor aptitude.
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Keywords: Research Article

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: January 1, 2005

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  • The Southeastern Surgical Congress owns and publishes The American Surgeon monthly. It is the official journal of the Congress and the Southern California Chapter of the American College of Surgeons, which all members receive each month. The journal brings up to date clinical advances in surgical knowledge in a popular reference format. In addition to publishing papers presented at the annual meetings of the associated organizations, the journal publishes selected unsolicited manuscripts. If you have a manuscript you'd like to see published in The American Surgeon select "Information for Authors" from the Related Information options below. A Copyright Release Form must accompany all manuscripts submitted.
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