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Adelaide Blavier, Anne-Sophie Nyssen; The impact of expertise on the processing of 2D and 3D images: The case of minimal invasive surgery. Journal of Vision 2008;8(6):62. doi: 10.1167/8.6.62.
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2D and 3D images do not contain the same information and thus do not lead to the same performance. Literature reports better performance with 3D images because they contain more visual cues, especially in order to accurately and efficiently guide the action. Although 3D images lead to a better performance than 2D view in reaching and grasping tasks, the effect of subject expertise on this difference has never been investigated. In order to answer this question in a natural and meaningful setting, we compared the performance of 12 novices (medical students) with the performance of 12 laparoscopic surgeons and 4 robotic surgeons, using a new robotic system that allows 2D and 3D view. After a familiarisation phase, all subjects performed 4 tasks of increasing complexity into 3 conditions (classical laparoscopy (2D view) and robotic system in 2D and 3D). Our results showed a trivial effect of expertise (surgeons generally performed better than novices). Moreover, novices performance was very sensitive to the 2D-3D difference (they performed better in 3D than in 2D) while the performance of laparoscopic surgeons was similar in 2D and 3D view. Robotic surgeons, used to manipulating robotic system in 3D, obtained same performance as laparoscopic surgeons in 2D view and significantly better performance in 3D. In conclusion, our study showed expertise had an effect on sensitivity to the 2D-3D difference: novice subjects were strongly sensitive to this difference, laparoscopic surgeons accurately compensated the loss of depth perception in 2D view and obtained similar performance in 2D and 3D, and robotic surgeons achieved to improve their performance in 3D. All these results were also emphasized by a questionnaire about their subjective impression about their performance (satisfaction, self-confidence and difficulty).
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