The University of Kentucky Center for Visualization & Virtual Environments

Vis Center Members Present Research at the 2009 Human Factors and Ergonomics Society Meeting

The Da Vinci Surgical Robot

The Vis Center was well represented by members of its Information Design and Usability Lab at this year’s meeting of the Human Factors and Ergonomics Society which represents the largest professional and scholarly organization of human factors professionals in the U.S.

Attending the meeting, which was held October 19-23 in San Antonio TX, were Dr. Melody Carswell, director of the lab, and frequent research collaborators Dr. Cindy Lio of Innova Design, Shanghai, China, Dr. Gyusung Lee, of the University of Maryland Medical Center, and Dr. Martina Klein, a recent Lab post-doc and current faculty member of Texas Tech University’s Department of Psychology. Graduate students Rusty Grant and Michelle Sublette also attended the conference.

The group presented research on a variety of projects related to the development and evaluation of more usable surgical visualization tools. Dr. Klein presented evidence that the Da Vinci surgical robot’s 3D visualization capability reduces mental workload in medical students learning to use the system. Dr. Lio reported on her work in developing a novel augmented surgical display to help surgeons keep from becoming disoriented during laparoscopic surgery. Dr. Lee presented research-based recommendations for reducing both physical and mental strain during laparoscopic surgery based on changes in physical stance and postures.

Meanwhile, Rusty presented preliminary results involving a technique for estimating cognitive workload that takes advantage of our tendency to misperceive how quickly time passes when we are engaged in challenging tasks. Michelle also presented results related to the measurement of mental workload by focusing on the accuracy with which users of new visualization techniques can anticipate the difficulty of surgical tasks.

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