Optical angle and visuospatial ability affect basic laparoscopic simulator task performance

Bas Kengen*, Willem B. Verwey, Harry van Goor, Jan Maarten Luursema

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticleAcademicpeer-review

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Surgical trainees show decreased performance during laparoscopic surgery when the laparoscope (camera) is not aligned with their line of sight towards the operating area. In this study we investigate the influence of visuospatial ability on laparoscopic simulator performance under such non-zero optical angles. Novices were invited to participate in a laparoscopic training session. After completing a visuospatial ability assessment, they performed a simplified laparoscopic task on an in-house developed laparoscopic simulator under eight different optical angles ranging between 0° and 315° in steps of 45°. Data-analysis showed decreased performance under all non-zero optical angles for task duration (mean difference between 1506 and 5049 ms, standard error between 499 and 507, p < .05) and for accuracy under optical angles greater than ±45° (mean difference between 1.48 and 2.11, standard error 0.32, p < .01). Performance-zones were identified for various optical angle ranges and differed for task duration and accuracy. Participants of high visuospatial ability performed significantly better under non-zero angles for accuracy compared to participants of low visuospatial ability (mean difference 0.95, standard error 0.34, p < .01), except for the 180° optical angle (no difference).

Original languageEnglish
Article number104210
JournalApplied ergonomics
Early online date28 Dec 2023
Publication statusPublished - Apr 2024


  • Laparoscopy
  • Optical angle
  • Training
  • Visuospatial ability


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