AAAI Publications, 2010 AAAI Spring Symposium Series

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Seeing with the Hands and with the Eyes: The Contributions of Haptic Cues to Anatomical Shape Recognition in Surgery
Madeleine Keehner, Richard K. Lowe

Last modified: 2010-03-16


Medical experts routinely need to identify the shapes of anatomical structures, and surgeons report that they depend substantially on touch to help them with this process. In this paper, we discuss possible reasons why touch may be especially important for anatomical shape recognition in surgery, and why in this domain haptic cues may be at least as informative about shape as visual cues. We go on to discuss modern surgical methods, in which these haptic cues are substantially diminished. We conclude that a potential future challenge is to find ways to reinstate these important cues and to help surgeons recognize shapes in the restricted sensory conditions of minimally invasive surgery.


haptics; surgery; laparoscopy; 3D; shape perception; anatomy learning; compensatory technologies

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