Assessing the validity of virtual simulation as a learning tool in the medical field.
With the increasing prevalence of mobile devices, it is unsurprising that they are also being adapted for use as tools for learning and perfecting complex procedures. One of these uses is training health care providers through simulated medical procedures. Two important points should be considered when designing simulated systems to assess the efficacy and efficiency of these teaching tools. 1) Individual differences in emotional biases and learning profiles may necessitate personalized stimulus presentations within simulated environments to achieve optimal and translatable learning. 2) Learning through indirect simulation, while beneficial to acquiring conceptual understanding of a procedure, may not utilize the same neural systems as actual performance of the actions. By utilizing cutting edge neuroimaging techniques, we will help optimize teaching performance by ensuring that the neurocognitive pathways trained in the simulated procedures are indeed the same pathways utilized in real-world application.