Research ArticleNEUROSCIENCE

Assessing bimanual motor skills with optical neuroimaging

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Science Advances  03 Oct 2018:
Vol. 4, no. 10, eaat3807
DOI: 10.1126/sciadv.aat3807


Measuring motor skill proficiency is critical for the certification of highly skilled individuals in numerous fields. However, conventional measures use subjective metrics that often cannot distinguish between expertise levels. We present an advanced optical neuroimaging methodology that can objectively and successfully classify subjects with different expertise levels associated with bimanual motor dexterity. The methodology was tested by assessing laparoscopic surgery skills within the framework of the fundamentals of a laparoscopic surgery program, which is a prerequisite for certification in general surgery. We demonstrate that optical-based metrics outperformed current metrics for surgical certification in classifying subjects with varying surgical expertise. Moreover, we report that optical neuroimaging allows for the successful classification of subjects during the acquisition of these skills.

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