A literature review on observational learning for medical motor skills and anesthesia teaching
- 571 Downloads
Motor skill practice is very important to improve performance of medical procedures and could be enhanced by observational practice. Observational learning could be particularly important in the medical field considering that patients’ safety prevails over students’ training. The mechanism of observational learning is based on the mirror neuron system, originally discovered in the monkey pre-motor cortex. Today we know that humans have a similar system, and its role is to understand and reproduce the observed actions of others. Many studies conclude that humans are able to plan and to make movements based on visual information by mapping a representation of observed actions, especially when the motor system is committed to do it. Moreover most researchers considered observational learning effective for complex skills, such as medical procedures. Additionally, observational learning could play a relevant role during anesthesia training since the learner works in pairs most of the time (dyad practice). Some teaching approaches should be taken into consideration: an implicit engagement of the observer motor system is required, immediate feedback seems to have an important effect, and a combination of observational and physical practice could be better than physical practice alone. In an environment where effectiveness and efficacy are essential, observational learning seems to fit well.
KeywordsObservational learning Dyad practice Motor skills Medical procedures Anesthesia
This article was initially a paper course for the Master of Science in Health Science Education program at Mc Master University. Later, the article was reviewed and edited by the second author prior to submission for publication.
- Badets, A., & Blandin, Y. (2005). Observational learning: Effects of bandwidth knowledge of results. Journal of Motor Behavior, 37(3), 211–216. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15883118. Accessed 28 Oct 2014.
- Badets, A., & Blandin, Y. (2010). Feedback schedules for motor-skill learning: The similarities and differences between physical and observational practice. Journal of Motor Behavior, 42(4), 257–268. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20862778. Accessed 28 Oct 2014.
- Bathalon, S., et al. (2005). Cognitive skills analysis, kinesiology, and mental imagery in the acquisition of surgical skills. The Journal of Otolaryngology, 34(05), 328. http://journals.bcdecker.com/CrossRef/showText.aspx?path=JOT/volume34%2C2005/issue05%2CSeptember/jot_2005_34506/jot_2005_34506.xml.
- Buccino, G., Binkofski, F., & Fink, G. (2001). Action observation activates premotor and parietal areas in a somatotopic manner: An fMRI study. European Journal of Neuroscience, 13, 400–404.Google Scholar
- Cochin, S., Barthelemy, C., Roux, S., & Martineau, J. (1999). Observation and execution of movement: Similarities demonstrated by quantified electroencephalograpy. European Journal of Neuroscience, 11, 1839–1842.Google Scholar
- Elliott, D., et al. (2011). Action representations in perception, motor control and learning: Implications for medical education. Medical Education, 45(2), 119–31. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/21166837. Accessed 13 Oct 2014.
- Maeda, F., Kleiner-Fisman, G., & Pascual-Leone, A. (2002). Motor facilitation while observing hand actions: Specificity of the effect and role of observer’s orientation. Journal of Neurophysiology, 87, 1329–1335.Google Scholar
- Mattar, A. A. G., & Gribble, P. L. (2005). Motor learning by observing. Neuron, 46(1), 153–160. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15820701. Accessed 28 Aug 2014.
- McCullagh, P., Weiss, M. R., & Ross, D. (1989). Modeling considerations in motor skill acquisition and performance: An integrated approach. Exercise and Sport Science Reviews, 17(2), 475–513.Google Scholar
- Moulton, C., et al. (2006). Teaching surgical skills: What kind of practice makes perfect? A randomized, controlled trial. Annals of Surgery, 244(3), 400–409.Google Scholar
- Patuzzo, S., Fiaschi, A., & Manganotti, P. (2003). Modulation of motor cortex excitability in the left hemisphere during action observation: A single and paired-pulse transcranial magnetic stimulation study of self-and non-self action observation. Neuropsychologia, 41, 1272–1278.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
- Rizzolatti, G., & Craighero, L. (2004). The mirror-neuron system. Annual Review of Neuroscience, 27, 169–192. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/15217330. Accessed 9 July 2014.
- Shea, C. H., et al. (2000). Physical and observational practice afford unique learning opportunities. Journal of Motor Behavior, 32(1), 27–36. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11008269. Accessed 27 Nov 2014.
- Shea, C. H., Wulf, G., & Whitacre, C. (1999). Enhancing training efficiency and effectiveness through the use of dyad training. Journal of Motor Behavior, 31(2), 119–125. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/11177626. Accessed 20 Oct 2014.
- Shebilske, W., Regian, J., & Arthur, W. (1992). A dyad protocol for training complex skills. Human Factors, 34, 369–374.Google Scholar
- Smith, A. M., Mannion, S., & Iohom, G. (2013). Irish medical students knowledge and perception of anaesthesia. Education in Medicine Journal, 5(2), 83–88. http://www.eduimed.com/index.php/eimj/article/view/144. Accessed 28 Oct 2014.
- Wulf, G., & Schmidt, R. A. (1997). Variability of practice and implicit motor learning. Journal of Experimental Psychology: Learning, Memory, and Cognition, 23(4), 987–1006.Google Scholar
- Wulf, G., Shea, C., & Lewthwaite, R. (2010). Motor skill learning and performance: A review of influential factors. Medical Education, 44(1), 75–84. http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pubmed/20078758. Accessed 19 July 2014.