Sonification in Image-guided Surgery

Image-guided neurosurgery, or neuronavigation, has been used to visualize the location of a surgical probe by mapping the probe location to pre-operative models of a patient’s anatomy. One common limitation of this approach is that it requires the surgeon to divert their attention away from the patient and towards the neuronavigation system. In order to improve this type of application, we designed a system that sonifies (i.e. provides audible feedback of) distance information between a surgical probe and the location of the anatomy of interest. Results from our user studies are consistent with the idea that combining auditory distance cues with existing visual information from image-guided surgery system results in greater accuracy when locating specified points on a preoperative scan, and reduces the perceived difficulty in locating a target location within a 3D volume.


Plazak, J., Drouin, S., Collins, D.L., Kersten-Oertel, M. (in press). Distance sonification in image-guided neurosurgery. Healthcare Technology Letters.