NCBI ROFL: Nintendo Wii video-gaming ability predicts laparoscopic skill.

By ncbi rofl | November 17, 2011 10:19 pm

“BACKGROUND: Studies using conventional consoles have suggested a possible link between video-gaming and laparoscopic skill. The authors hypothesized that the Nintendo Wii, with its motion-sensing interface, would provide a better model for laparoscopic tasks. This study investigated the relationship between Nintendo Wii skill, prior gaming experience, and laparoscopic skill. METHODS: In this study, 20 participants who had minimal experience with either laparoscopic surgery or Nintendo Wii performed three tasks on a Webcam-based laparoscopic simulator and were assessed on three games on the Wii. The participants completed a questionnaire assessing prior gaming experience. RESULTS: The score for each of the three Wii games correlated positively with the laparoscopic score (r = 0.78, 0.63, 0.77; P < 0.001), as did the combined Wii score (r = 0.82; P < 0.001). The participants in the top tertile of Wii performance scored 60.3% higher on the laparoscopic tasks than those in the bottom tertile (P < 0.01). Partial correlation analysis with control for the effect of prior gaming experience showed a significant positive correlation between the Wii score and the laparoscopic score (r = 0.713; P < 0.001). Prior gaming experience also correlated positively with the laparoscopic score (r = 0.578; P < 0.01), but no significant difference in the laparoscopic score was observed when the participants in the top tertile of experience were compared with those in the bottom tertile (P = 0.26). CONCLUSIONS: The study findings suggest a skill overlap between the Nintendo Wii and basic laparoscopic tasks. Surgical candidates with advanced Nintendo Wii ability may possess higher baseline laparoscopic ability.”

Bonus quote (description of Figure 1, above):
“For task 3, a shoelace knotted at one end and 25 Polo Nestle Co Ltd (Croydon, UK) mints were placed in the working area. The participants were given 10 min to thread as many mints as possible onto the shoelace using two grasper tools. The score was the number of mints added to the shoelace at the end of the task.”

Related content:
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Sex differences in Nintendo Wii performance as expected from hunter-gatherer selection.
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Beware of Wii tennis.
Discoblog: NCBI ROFL: Effects of playing video games on pain response during a cold pressor task.

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About ncbi rofl

NCBI ROFL is the brainchild of two Molecular and Cell Biology graduate students at UC Berkeley and features real research articles from the PubMed database (which is housed by the National Center for Biotechnology information, aka NCBI) that they find amusing (ROFL is a commonly-used internet acronym for "rolling on the floor, laughing"). Follow us on twitter: @ncbirofl

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