Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Doctor of Philosophy


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Eagleson, Roy A.


When a novice neurosurgeon performs a psychomotor surgical task (e.g., tool navigation into brain structures), a potential risk of damaging healthy tissues and eloquent brain structures is unavoidable. When novices make multiple hits, thus a set of undesirable trajectories is created, and resulting in the potential for surgical complications. Thus, it is important that novices not only aim for a high-level of surgical mastery but also receive deliberate training in common neurosurgical procedures and underlying tasks. Surgical simulators have emerged as an adequate candidate as effective method to teach novices in safe and free-error training environments. The design of neurosurgical simulators requires a comprehensive approach to development and. In that in mind, we demonstrate a detailed case study in which two Augmented Reality (AR) training simulation modules were designed and implemented through the adoption of Model-driven Engineering. User performance evaluation is a key aspect of the surgical simulation validity. Many AR surgical simulators become obsolete; either they are not sufficient to support enough surgical scenarios, or they were validated according to subjective assessments that did not meet every need. Accordingly, we demonstrate the feasibility of the AR simulation modules through two user studies, objectively measuring novices’ performance based on quantitative metrics. Neurosurgical simulators are prone to perceptual distance underestimation. Few investigations were conducted for improving user depth perception in head-mounted display-based AR systems with perceptual motion cues. Consequently, we report our investigation’s results about whether or not head motion and perception motion cues had an influence on users’ performance.