Currently submitted to: JMIR Serious Games
Date Submitted: Mar 18, 2020
Open Peer Review Period: Mar 17, 2020 - May 12, 2020
(currently open for review and needs more reviewers - can you help?)
Virtual simulation for measuring brain electrical activity: Intervention study in clinical neurophysiology course
Virtual simulation is the recreation of reality depicted on a computer screen. It offers the possibility to exercise motoric and psychomotor skills. In biomedical and medical education there is an attempt to find new ways to support students’ learning in neurophysiology. Traditionally, recording EEG (electroencephalography) has been trained through practical hands-on exercises. So far, virtual simulations in the EEG measurement have not been used.
This study aimed to examine the development of students’ theoretical knowledge and practical skills in the EEG measurement when using a virtual EEG simulator in biomedical laboratory science in the context of a neurophysiology course.
A computer-based EEG simulator was created. The simulator allows virtual electrode placement and EEG graph interpretation. The usefulness of the simulator on learning EEG measurement was tested with 35 participants divided into three groups. Experimental group 1 used a simulator with fuzzy feedback, experimental group 2 used a simulator with exact feedback and the control group did not use a simulator. The study comprised pre- and post-tests on theoretical knowledge and practical hands-on evaluation of EEG electrode placement.
The Wilcoxon signed-rank test indicates that two groups who utilized a computer-based electrode placement simulator showed significant improvement both in theoretical knowledge and practical skills compared to the group which studied without a simulator.
Training electrode placement using a simulator enhances student’s ability to place electrodes and increases understanding of EEG measurement together with practical hands-on training.
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