We investigated the cognitive load effect of a trainer providing surgical instruction by pointing/drawing over laparoscopic video to a trainee. Results showed that while cognitive load is higher overall with the use of the instructional system, there is a decrease by the second experience of being instructed by the Virtual Pointer. Further analysis showed that trainees were more likely to perform the surgical task and watch/listen to the trainer’s instruction at the same time when the instructional system was used. This is thought to be an indication of more efficient communication when using the instructional system. Thus, although there is a small cognitive overload with the instructional system initially, the more efficient communication allows trainees to better integrate the knowledge and instructions being conveyed into the actions they must perform - indicating a better learning environment.

Learning Objective: 1- Understand how the use of pointing technologies can affect surgical trainees' cognitive load as well as the communication efficiency in trainer-trainee interaction
2- Learn possible scientific ways for measuring cognitive load in a surgical training environment including physiological measures and self-report questionnaires
3- Learn how adding technologies to surgical training environment can affect various inter-related factors such as cognitive load and communication efficiency and learn scientific approaches for studying and measuring them


Azin Semsar (Presenter)
University of Maryland, Baltimore County

Hannah McGowan, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Yuanyuan Feng, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Hamid Zahiri, Anne Arundel Medical Center
Ivan George, Anne Arundel Medical Center
Timothy Turner, Anne Arundel Medical Center
Adrian Park, Anne Arundel Medical Center
Helena Mentis, University of Maryland, Baltimore County
Andrea Kleinsmith, University of Maryland, Baltimore County

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