An interesting headline from BusinessWeek today: If You Can Ace ‘Guitar Hero’, You Can Remove A Pancreas.
Researchers at La Sapienza University of Rome in Italy had medical residents play video games on the Nintendo Wii for an hour a day for four weeks and found that doing so actually made them more adept at performing laparoscopic surgery.
No surprise that video games aid manual dexterity, but it goes deeper.
Surgery has come a long way since the days when it meant sawing off legs in a battlefield hospital at Antietam. Surgeons today often perform laparoscopic operations not by manually snipping and sewing, but by controlling precision robots—the robot arms do the actual operating, and the surgeon sees inside the body by looking at a video feed on a screen. [...]
A key skill in controlling these technologies—the skill the Italian medical residents honed on their Nintendo Wiis—is the ability to make sense of how the three-dimensional world is rendered on a two-dimensional screen.