The Effect of Split Attention in Surgical Education
Surgical education through simulation is an important area to improve the level of education and to decrease the risks, ethical considerations and cost of the educational environments. In the literature there are several studies conducted to better understand the effect of these simulation environments on learning. However among those studies the human-computer interaction point of view is very limited. Surgeons need to look at radiological images such as magnetic resonance images (MRI) to be sure about the location of the patient’s tumor during a surgical operation. Thus, they go back and forth between physically separated places (e.g. the operating table and light screen display for MRI volume sets). This study is conducted to investigate the effect of presenting different information sources in close proximity on human performance in surgical education. For this purpose, we have developed a surgical education simulation scenario which is controlled by a haptic interface. To better understand the effect of split attention in surgical education, an experimental study is conducted with 27 subjects. The descriptive results of study show that even the integrated group performed the tasks with a higher accuracy level (by traveling less distance, entering less wrong directions and hitting less walls), the results are not statistically significant. Accordingly, even there are some evidences about the effect of split attention on surgical simulation environments, the results of this study need to be validated by controlling students’ skill levels on controlling the haptic devices and 2D/3D space perception skills. The results of this study may guide the system developers to better design the HCI interface of their designs especially for the area of surgical simulation.
KeywordsCognitive Load Endoscopic Surgery Target Node Haptic Device Surgical Simulation
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