Can Multiple Object Tracking Predict Laparoscopic Surgical Skills?

J Surg Educ. May-Jun 2016;73(3):386-90. doi: 10.1016/j.jsurg.2015.11.013. Epub 2016 Jan 28.


Objective: The purpose of this study was to examine the relationship between multiple object tracking (MOT) and simulated laparoscopic surgery skills.

Methods: A total of 29 second-year medical students were recruited for this study. The participants completed 3 rounds of a three-dimensional MOT and a simulated laparoscopic surgery task. Averages of the performance on the tasks were calculated. Descriptive variables (i.e., age, hours of sleep, caffeine, and video game use) were measured via questionnaires. Data were analyzed using hierarchical regression models with surgical performance as the outcome variable. Predictor variable was the multiple objects tracking score and the descriptive variables.

Results: The regression models revealed a significant prediction of simulated laparoscopic surgical skills by the multiple objects tracking score. In particular, 29% of the variance of time to completion and 28% of the average surgical arm movement were explained. In both regressions, the MOT score was the only significant predictor.

Conclusion: This study demonstrates the potential implications of perceptual-cognitive training for future surgeons. Along with motor skill practice, MOT may aid to better prepare health care professionals for the complex cognitive demands of surgery.

Keywords: Medical Knowledge; Practice-Based Learning and Improvement; laparoscopy; multiple object tracking; simulation; surgical education.

MeSH terms

  • Clinical Competence*
  • Education, Medical, Undergraduate / methods*
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Laparoscopy / education*
  • Male
  • Motor Skills*
  • Simulation Training*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Task Performance and Analysis*
  • Video Games
  • Young Adult