Visuospatial skills and computer game experience influence the performance of virtual endoscopy

Lars Enochsson, Bengt Isaksson, René Tour, Ann Kjellin, Leif Hedman, Torsten Wredmark, Li Tsai-Felländer, D. Scott, N. Soper, D. McClusky

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

97 Scopus citations


Advanced medical simulators have been introduced to facilitate surgical and endoscopie training and thereby improve patient safety. Residents trained in the Procedicus Minimally Invasive Surgical Trainer-Virtual Reality (MIST-VR) laparoscopic simulator perform laparoscopic cholecystectomy safer and faster than a control group. Little has been reported regarding whether factors like gender, computer experience, and visuospatial tests can predict the performance with a medical simulator. Our aim was to investigate whether such factors influence the performance of simulated gastroscopy. Seventeen medical students were asked about computer gaming experiences. Before virtual endoscopy, they performed the visuospatial test PicCOr, which discriminates the ability of the tested person to create a three-dimensional image from a two-dimensional presentation. Each student performed one gastroscopy (level 1, case 1) in the GI Mentor II, Simbionix, and several variables related to performance were registered. Percentage of time spent with a clear view in the endoscope correlated well with the performance on the PicSOr test (r = 0.56, P < 0.001). Efficiency of screening also correlated with PicSOr (r = 0.23, P < 0.05). In students with computer gaming experience, the efficiency of screening increased (33.6% ± 3.1% versus 22.6% ± 2.8%, P < 0.05) and the duration of the examination decreased by 1.5 minutes (P < 0.05). A similar trend was seen in men compared with women. The visuospatial test PicSOr predicts the results with the endoscopie simulator GI Mentor II. Two-dimensional image experience, as in computer games, also seems to affect the outcome.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)874-880
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Gastrointestinal Surgery
Issue number7
StatePublished - 2004
Externally publishedYes


  • Endoscopic training
  • Endoscopy
  • Medical simulators
  • Validation studies
  • Visuospatial tests

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Gastroenterology


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