Electronic Thesis and Dissertation Repository


Master of Engineering Science


Electrical and Computer Engineering


Dr. Roy Eagleson


In this thesis, a 3D interactive environment for measurement of spatial ability using Mental Rotation Test was designed and implemented. The spatial ability of two groups of participants (novices and experts) was evaluated using the implemented software and compared to the result from Embedded Figure Test. In Embedded Figure Test, only 15.63% of the experts’ responses were incorrect (with score of 6.75 ± 1.50 out of 8), compared to 57.00% for novices (with score of 3.44 ± 1.51). No significant difference was found between scores of the two group from Mental Rotation Test; however, experts responded significantly faster than novices (P < 0.05). The response time found to be a more suitable metric to quantify the spatial ability of surgical trainees. Calot’s Triangle Test was used to measure practical surgical knowledge of the candidates. Experts’ surgical knowledge was found significantly higher than that of novices (P < 0.05). Results from both spatial reasoning tests and Calot’s Triangle test confirm the capability of the 3D Mental Rotation Test to measure the spatial ability of trainees, and therefore it may be used during the training to indirectly evaluate improvements in their practical surgical knowledge.

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