DOI: 10.1101/455329Oct 30, 2018Paper

Utilizing Transcranial Direct Current Stimulation to Enhance Laparoscopic Technical Skills Training: A Randomized Controlled Trial

BioRxiv : the Preprint Server for Biology
Morgan L CoxLawrence G Appelbaum


This study aimed to test the efficacy of transcranial direct current stimulation (tDCS) during laparoscopic skill training to determine if it has the capacity to accelerate technical skill acquisition. tDCS is a non-invasive brain stimulation technique that delivers constant, low electrical current resulting in changes to cortical excitability and prior work suggests it may enhance motor learning. We evaluate for the first time the potential of tDCS, coupled with motor skill training, to accelerate the development of laparoscopic technical skills. In this pre-registered, double-blinded and sham-controlled study, 60 healthy subjects were randomized into sham or active tDCS in either bilateral primary motor cortex (bM1) or supplementary motor area (SMA) electrode configurations. All subjects practiced the Fundamental of Laparoscopic Surgery Peg Transfer Task during a pre-test, six 20-minute training sessions, and a post-test. The primary outcome was change in laparoscopic skill performance over time, quantified by improvement in performance according to a seconds-per-object calculated score accounting for errors. Sixty participants were randomized equally into the three training cohorts (active bM1, active SMA, sham). The active ...Continue Reading

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