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The research catalogue is an archive of ESRC-funded grants and outputs. Links, files and other content will no longer be maintained or updated after April 2014.

'Bilateral (Hong Kong):' Gaze strategies of laparoscopy surgeons: Observational learning, implicit knowledge and performance in demanding conditions

Grant reference: RES-000-22-3016

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Conference proceedings details

Gaze training improves performance in a virtual reality laparoscopic surgery task
The aim of the current study was to examine the utility of a gaze training intervention in protecting technical laparoscopic skills under distracting multi-tasking conditions. Thirty medical trainees with no laparoscopic experience were divided randomly into one of three treatment groups: A gaze training (GAZE), a movement training (MOVE), and a no-instruction (CONTROL) group. The GAZE and MOVE groups watched a video model revealing expert gaze control or tool control respectively, and received matched video feedback on subsequent attempts. Participants were fitted with a Mobile Eye gaze registration system, which measures eye-line of gaze at 25Hz.Training consisted of ten repetitions of an 'eye-hand coordination' task from the LAP Mentor VR laparoscopic surgical simulator. After training, all participants completed a retention test (designed to assess learning) and a transfer test, in which they completed the procedure while performing a concurrent tone counting task.The results revealed that the GAZE trained group completed the task more quickly in the retention test and did not show impaired performance under concurrent task conditions (cf. both other Proceeding of the 13th FEPSAC European Congress of Sport Psychology91 groups). These results suggest that gaze training provides indirect benefits for the self-organization of motor skill (without direct coaching of the motor behavior), in a manner that may be less attentionally demanding. By focusing on a single external target, rather than on complex movement patterns, resources may be more efficiently applied to a concurrent cognitive task. As surgical performance relies on decision-making and judgement, as well as technical proficiency, this finding has interesting clinical utility.

Primary contributor

Author Mark Wilson

Additional contributors

Co-author S. Vine
Co-author R. Masters
Co-author J. McGrath

Additional details

02 February 2012
European Federation of Sport Psychology (FEPSAC) European congress of sport psychology
Madeira, Portugal
Proceedings of the 13th FEPSAC European congress of sport psychology
12 July 2011