OBJECTIVE: Our goal was to integrate current and emerging technology in virtual systems to provide a temporal bone dissection simulator that allows the user interactivity and realism similar to the cadaver laboratory. STUDY DESIGN: Iterative design and validation of a virtual environment for simulating temporal bone dissection. SETTING: University otolaryngology training program with interdisciplinary interaction in a high-performance computer facility. RESULTS: The system provides visual, force feed-back (haptic), and aural interfaces. Unlike previous "fly through" virtual systems, this environment provides a richer emulation of surgical experience. CONCLUSION: The system provides a high level of functional utility and, through initial evaluations, demonstrates promise in adding to traditional training methods. SIGNIFICANCE: The system provides an environment to learn temporal bone surgery in a way similar to the experience with cadaver material where the subject is able to interact with the data without constraints (nondeterministic). Eventually, it may provide the "front end" to a large repository of various temporal bone pathologies that can be accessed through the Internet. Copyright © 2002 by the American Academy of Otolaryngology-Head and Neck Surgery Foundation, Inc.
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