Publication Date


Document Type


Committee Members

John Flach (Committee Chair), Michael Hennessy (Committee Member), Valerie Shalin (Committee Member)

Degree Name

Master of Science (MS)


Following Dominguez (1997), we tested for differences among 10 resident surgeons' eye-scanning patterns during a laparoscopic cholecystectomy video. We measured time, number of fixations on anatomy and instruments, discomfort level ratings, notation of cystic artery, and conversion to open-incision. We expected our 10 residents would fall into two scanning strategies, proactive or reactive. Proactive strategists were defined as more skilled (year in residency, cases performed), anticipatory of danger (time and fixations on anatomy), observant of the pulsing cystic artery, and converting from laparoscopy to open when highly uncomfortable. Reactive strategists were expected to spend more time on instruments, have low discomfort ratings, not notice the pulsing cystic artery and not convert to open. Our results revealed increased time on anatomy positively correlated with year in residency and number of surgeries, suggesting that experience leads to proactive scanning strategy. Also, our residents were more uncomfortable than residents in Dominguez (1997).

Page Count


Department or Program

Department of Psychology

Year Degree Awarded