Skills learning in robot-assisted surgery is benefited by task-specific augmented feedback

Srikant Vallabhajosula, Timothy N. Judkins, Mukul Mukherjee, Irene H. Suh, Dmitry Oleynikov, Ka Chun Siu

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

1 Scopus citations


Background: Providing augmented visual feedback is one way to enhance robot-assisted surgery (RAS) training. However, it is unclear whether task specificity should be considered when applying augmented visual feedback. Methods: Twenty-two novice users of the da Vinci Surgical System underwent testing and training in 3 tasks: simple task, bimanual carrying (BC); intermediate task, needle passing (NP); and complex task, suture tying (ST). Pretraining (PRE), training, and posttraining (POST) trials were performed during the first session. Retention trials were performed 2 weeks later (RET). Participants were randomly assigned to 1 of 4 feedback training groups: relative phase (RP), speed, grip force, and video feedback groups. Performance measures were time to task completion (TTC), total distance traveled (D), speed (S), curvature, relative phase, and grip force (F). Results: Significant interaction for TTC and curvature showed that the RP feedback training improved temporal measures of complex ST task compared to simple BC task. Speed feedback training significantly improved the performance in simple BC task in terms of TTC, D, S, curvature, and F even after retention. There was also a lesser long-term effect of speed feedback training on complex ST task. Grip force feedback training resulted in significantly greater improvements in TTC and curvature for complex ST task. For the video feedback training group, the improvements in most of the outcome measures were evident only after RET. Conclusions: Task-specific augmented feedback is beneficial to RAS skills learning. Particularly, the RP and grip force feedback could be useful for training complex tasks.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)639-647
Number of pages9
JournalSurgical Innovation
Issue number6
StatePublished - Dec 2013


  • concurrent feedback
  • da Vinci Surgical System
  • motor learning
  • task complexity

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery


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