The CRIST@L Group

  • Cognitive Research Informed Surgical Techniques

  • @ the University of Leeds

  • An ongoing collaboration between

  • Surgeons

  • Psychologists

  • Engineers

  • Dentists

  • & Educationalists

Who we are

A multidisciplinary group of researchers and clinicians focussed on improving surgical training, education and in the development of novel surgical technologies.

  • Cognitive Research Informed Surgical Techniques @ Leeds
  • An interdisciplinary collaboration between
  • Surgeons, Psychologists, Engineers, Dentists & Educationalists

What we Do

Our interests focus on accelerating the processes involved in surgical training, education and in the development of surgical technologies.

We aim to tackle these goals through adopting a truly multidisciplinary approach that takes knowledge and cutting-edge research techniques from medicine, psychology, neuroscience, computing, dentistry and engineering, implementing it in innovative ways to address fundamental questions related to the way in which brain and hand interact in the delivery of optimal performance.

The research team is based across departments and faculties in the University of Leeds; Psychology, Medicine, Dentistry, Health Sciences, Computing, Engineering, Education and the NHS. You can find out more about our team, projects and ambitions by navigating through this site.

Understanding how brain, hand and body interact is one of the most exciting topics in cognitive science today. Minimally invasive surgery and dentistry are but two examples in which high level cognitive processes (e.g. precedural knowledge of steps required to perform a laparoscopic colectomy) must be in concert with relativey low level motor control processes (e.g. moving a tool to perform an action under visual transformation) in order to perform a behaviour. This programme of work is aimed at:


The processes involved in the acquisition of skilled motor action, with canonical examples of Minimally-Invasive Surgery and Dentistry


Acquisition of skilled action - the important question here is how can we reduce the time it takes to train a novice to expertise? We explore this in a variety of populations and domains: from robotic training of children with motor difficulties and stroke patients through to healthy dentistry undergraduates and trainee surgeons


How do we ensure that highly skilled performance is maintained? We explore cognitive (e.g. stress, fatigue) and external factors (e.g. technologies, operation theatre) influencing behaviour.

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