Enhanced visuomotor learning and generalization in expert surgeons

Christopher L. Hewitson, Matthew J. Crossley, David M. Kaplan*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

5 Citations (Scopus)


Although human motor learning has been intensively studied for many decades, it remains unknown whether group differences are present in expert cohorts that must routinely cope with and learn new visuomotor mappings such as expert minimally invasive surgeons. We found that expert surgeons compensate for a visuomotor perturbation more rapidly than naive controls. Modelling indicates that these differences in expert behavioural performance reflects greater trial-to-trial retention, as opposed to greater trial-to-trial learning rate. We also found that surgeons generalize to novel reach directions more broadly than controls, a result which was subsequently confirmed by our modelling. In general, our findings show that minimally invasive surgeons exhibit enhanced visuomotor learning and spatial generalization.

Original languageEnglish
Article number102621
Pages (from-to)1-11
Number of pages11
JournalHuman Movement Science
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2020


  • visuomotor adaptation
  • sensorimotor learning
  • generalization
  • experts
  • surgery
  • minimally invasive surgery


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