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ERIC Number: EJ1148400
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017
Pages: 11
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: EISSN-2295-3159
Pupillometry as a Tool to Study Expertise in Medicine
Szulewski, Adam; Kelton, Danielle; Howes, Daniel
Frontline Learning Research, v5 n3 p53-63 2017
Background: Pupillometry has been studied as a physiological marker for quantifying cognitive load since the early 1960s. It has been established that small changes in pupillary size can provide an index of the cognitive load of an individual as he/she performs a mental task. The utility of pupillometry as a measure of expertise is less well established, although recent research in the fields of education, medicine and psychology indicates that differences in pupillary size during domain-specific tasks allows differentiation between experts and novices in appropriately designed experiments. Purpose: The goal of this review is to explore the existing body of evidence for the use of pupillometry as a measure of expertise and to identify its strengths and constraints within the context of expertise research in the medical sciences. Results: Pupillometry is a robust metric that allows researchers to better understand cognitive load in medical practitioners with varying levels of expertise. In medical expertise research, it has been used to study surgeons, anesthetists and emergency physicians. Its strengths include its ability to provide quantitative and objective outputs, to be measured unobtrusively with new technology and to be precisely computed as cognitive load changes over the course of completion of a task. Constraints associated with this methodology include its potential inaccuracy with changes in ambient light and pupillary accommodation as well as the need for relatively expensive equipment. Conclusion: With recent technological advances, pupillometry has become a simple and robust method for quantifying physiological changes attributable to cognitive load and is increasingly being utilized in medical education. It can be used as a reliable marker of cognitive load and has been shown to differentiate levels of expertise in medical practitioners.
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Information Analyses; Reports - Evaluative
Education Level: N/A
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: N/A