Teishima 2016

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Effect of Spatial Cognitive Ability on Gain in Robot-Assisted Surgical Skills of Urological Surgeons

Jun Teishima MD, PhD* Minoru Hattori PhD† ShogoInoue MD* Keisuke Hieda MD* Kohei Kobatake MD* Shunsuke Shinmei MD, PhD*Hiroyuki Egi MD, PhD†‡Hideki Ohdan MD, PhD‡ Akio Matsubara MD, PhD*

Although previous studies have demonstrated the needs for a spatial cognitive ability that can give an accurate understanding of the position, orientation, and size and form of the objects in endoscopic surgery, there has been no study on the relationship between the skills of robot-assisted surgery and spatial cognitive ability.


To assess the effect of spatial cognitive ability on gain in robot-assisted surgical skills of urological surgeons.

Material and Methods

The robot-assisted surgery skills of 24 urological surgeons who had no previous experience with the Mimic dV-Trainer (MdVT) and had not been the main surgeon in robot-assisted surgery and 20 volunteer medical students who had no previous experience of the MdVT were assessed by using a program consisting of 4 kinds of tasks. Their performances were recorded using a built-in scoring algorithm. Their spatial cognitive abilities were also assessed using a mental rotation test.


Although there was a significant correlation between the spatial cognitive ability and a score of 2 for the more difficult tasks for student groups using the MdVT, there was no significant correlation between them for all tasks for groups of urological surgeons.


The results of the present study indicate that differences in spatial cognitive ability in urological surgeons have no effect on the gain in fundamental robot-assisted surgery skills whereas there was a significant correlation between the spatial cognitive ability and fundamental robot-assisted surgical skills in the volunteers.

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