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Magn Reson Med. 2011 Mar;65(3):873-81. doi: 10.1002/mrm.22664. Epub 2010 Nov 4.

Functional MRI-compatible laparoscopic surgery training simulator.

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  • 1Institute of Biomaterials and Biomedical Engineering, University of Toronto, and Keenan Research Centre of the Li Ka Shing Knowledge Institute at St. Michael's Hospital, Toronto, Ontario, Canada.


During the past few years, laparoscopy has become the gold standard for some surgical procedures and its applications continue to expand. Because of multiple factors such as loss of tactile perception, two-dimensional visualization of the three-dimensional surgical field, and demanding bimanual hand-eye coordination, special training is required to achieve proficiency with laparoscopy. In this study, as the first step toward evidence-based development of strategies to improve the quality of laparoscopy training from brain activity and behavior relationships, a laparoscopy training simulator was developed for use in functional MRI. Experiments confirmed the functional MRI compatibility of the device. Representative behavioral and functional MRI results for two subjects showed the feasibility of using this simulator to investigate the brain activation associated with components of laparoscopic task performance. To our knowledge, this is the first study that directly looks at the functional MRI brain activation during complex surgical training tasks.

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