An Electric Nudge to the Head to Improve Robotic Surgery Skills

People who received gentle electric currents on the back of their heads learned to maneuver a robotic surgery tool in VR and then in a real setting much more easily than people who didn't receive those nudges. Watch this video to see how stimulating a specific part of the brain — the cerebellum — could help health care professionals transfer the VR lessons to real operating rooms.

"Training in virtual reality is not the same as training in a real setting, and we've shown with previous research that it can be difficult to transfer a skill learned in a simulation into the real world," said Jeremy D. Brown , the John C. Malone Associate Professor of Mechanical Engineering. "It's very hard to claim statistical exactness, but we concluded people in the study were able to transfer skills from virtual reality to the real world much more easily when they had this stimulation."