Presentation Authors: Somayeh B Shafiei, Zaeem Lone, Ahmed S. Elsayed*, Naif A. Aldhaam, Randy Felber, Sai Jayaprakash, Michael Seggio, Khurshid A. Guru, Buffalo, NY
Introduction: Acquiring surgical skills, interacting with the robotic console, and a new surgical environment add to the complexity of the learning process during surgical training. Gaps in practice affect the learning curve. In this study, we investigated the dynamic changes of a trainee's brain functional states over a training period.
Methods: Electroencephalography (EEG; 20 channels) data from 27 trainees was recorded over six training sessions over a period of one year. Trainees performed five tasks based on the validated FSRS- Fundamental Skills of Robotic Surgery (FSRS) curriculum which included Instrument Control Task, Ball Placement Task, Spatial Control II Task, Fourth Arm Tissue Retraction, and the Hands-on Surgical Training (HoST) module. The participants' brain network integration and recruitment features were calculated using network neuroscience algorithms. Integration is the probability that an area in the brain is in the same network community as areas from other cognitive systems (eg. the frontal lobe communicates with the occitapl lobe). Recruitment is the probability that an area in the brain is in the same network community as other areas from its own cognitive system (eg. the frontal lobe communicates within itself).
Results: We found correlations between variation in practice sessions gap with integration and recruitment at different frequency bands (Table 1). Longer intervals between practice sessions were associated with lower recruitment of motor, and visual cortices resulting in longer learning processes. A significant negative correlation between network features (strength and communication) and FSRS metrics on the simulator suggested strength and communication as distinctive features for performance evaluation during robot assisted surgery learning.
Conclusions: The present study is the first reported study aimed at investigating the brain dynamic changes and the effect of practice gap during robot assisted surgery learning.
Source of Funding: Roswell Park Alliance Foundation.