SLATE GUEST LECTURE: Dr. Anneke van der Niet

December 20, 2017

Affordance perception in a simulated emergency care situation using eye-tracking and video data


Dr. Anneke van der Niet, School of Health Professions Education, University of Masstricht




When: Thursday, 11 January, 14:15-15:30

Where: SLATE Christiesgate 13, 3rd floor







The emergency care department is a very complex and dynamic environment. To perform adequately, a clinician must select from the wealth of information available, the information that is most relevant at any point in time. How are clinicians attuned to the right information? How do they learn to perceive the affordances when they encounter an emergency situation? The current study uses an action system approach to investigate this process in residents. In an action system approach, the learner and the environment form the unit of analysis. When a task is performed, a coordinated system of organism and environment is formed based on the available affordances. Affordances are possibilities for action. When we look at our environment, we perceive affordances, which derive from our individual relationship to objects and other persons. Learning to see things is thus learning to see what things and other persons afford.

Seven teams consisting of a resident and two emergency care nurses practiced two different emergency care scenarios. Residents were at various stages in their postgraduate medical education. The ABCDE (Airway, Breathing, Circulation, Disability, Exposure) procedure was used to diagnose the patient. Residents were wearing a mobile eye tracker. Two fixed cameras recorded the scene. Data were analyzed by the researcher and an expert emergency care clinician.

In this presentation it will be explained how we made sense of the data, by linking the data of the eye-tracker to the data of the camera. Some preliminary results will be shown. By linking gaze patterns of residents to their performance of medical procedures within the ABCDE approach, we try to move beyond knowing what people attend to, and towards understanding why they attend to certain aspects in their environment. This helps us understand what the resident is doing.



Anneke van der Niet holds a PhD in Human Movement Sciences from the University of Groningen, The Netherlands. She is currently postdoctoral researcher at the School of Health Professions Education at Maastricht University. Her scientific background includes Human Movement Sciences and Anthropology. She has been studying human performance and learning in children and adults in various settings, including educational and medical settings in The Netherlands and Africa, and has experience in both quantitative and qualitative research methods. In her postdoc research she is looking at performance in the complex and dynamic environment of emergency medicine, with a special focus on perceptual learning of residents during simulation based education.



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