Can playing video games make you better at other tasks? Maybe it created better hand dexterity and quickness. Maybe it develops 3-D spatial reasoning? Maybe it builds a faster connection between eyes, brain, and hands. That is exactly what we’re currently testing at the Nicholson Center using expert robotic surgeons, expert video gamers, medical students and lay people as test subjects.
We are working with the UCF College of Medicine, UCF Florida Interactive Entertainment Academy, and Florida Hospital medical staff to provide insight into the complex relationship between interactive computer skills and robotic surgical skills. Research participants use a virtual reality simulator, the Mimic dV-Trainer, to capture their proficiency in two different exercises which are repeated eight times. These measure the subjects’ beginning skill level and a learning curve of improved performance.
Though the research is still underway, we have seen interesting relationships between the gamers, surgeons, and medical students who have participated. Video gamers appear to adapt more quickly than the other groups and continue to improve their accuracy with each trial they complete.
The research will have to be completed before making definitive conclusions, but our team thinks that there will be interesting findings that could have implications on future training in robotic surgery and other fields like laparoscopic surgery.
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