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Video Game Playing Associated with Surgery Skills

Can video games make you smarter? Well, if you’re a surgeon they can.

Researchers presenting at this weekend’s American Psychological Association annual convention here in Boston demonstrated that surgeons who specialize in minimally-invasive surgery and played video games worked more quickly and performed with less errors than those who didn’t play video games:

In one study of 33 laparoscopic surgeons, researchers found that those who played video games were 27 percent faster at advanced surgical procedures and made 37 percent fewer errors than those who didn’t. Advanced video game skills were also a good way to predict suturing capabilities.

A second study looking at 303 laparoscopic surgeons found that those who played video games requiring spatial skills and hand dexterity performed better at those skills when tested later compared with surgeons who didn’t play videos.

In laparoscopic, or minimally invasive, surgeries, surgeons use small incisions, thin surgical tools, and video cameras.

So next time you go into minimally-invasive surgery, there is another quick quality indicator that might suggest a better outcome for you.

Another study presented at the conference also showed that gamers who played the popular online role-playing game, World of Warcraft, used common problem-solving skills, such as testing, modeling and yes, even using math!

The upshot? Video games can be beneficial in many ways, especially for those budding surgeons out there.

Read the full article: A positive take on video games

Video Game Playing Associated with Surgery Skills

John M. Grohol, Psy.D.

Dr. John Grohol is the founder & CEO of Psych Central. He is an author, researcher and expert in mental health online, and has been writing about online behavior, mental health and psychology issues -- as well as the intersection of technology and human behavior -- since 1992. Dr. Grohol sits on the editorial board of the journal Computers in Human Behavior and is a founding board member and treasurer of the Society for Participatory Medicine. He writes regularly and extensively on mental health concerns, the intersection of technology and psychology, and advocating for greater acceptance of the importance and value of mental health in today's society. You can learn more about Dr. John Grohol here.


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APA Reference
Grohol, J. (2018). Video Game Playing Associated with Surgery Skills. Psych Central. Retrieved on March 25, 2019, from https://psychcentral.com/blog/video-game-playing-associated-with-surgery-skills/
Scientifically Reviewed
Last updated: 8 Jul 2018
Last reviewed: By a member of our scientific advisory board on 8 Jul 2018
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