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Effect of gamified perceptual learning on visual detection and discrimination skills in equine gait assessment

Starke, Sandra D.; Miles, Gregory C.; Channon, Sarah B.; May, Stephen A.


Sandra D. Starke

Gregory C. Miles

Sarah B. Channon

Stephen A. May


Background: Visual assessment of equine lameness is an everyday veterinary task suffering from poor diagnostic accuracy. The aim of this study was to quantify the impact of the perceptual learning game 'LamenessTrainer' on skill development. Methods: Thirty-six undergraduate veterinary students engaged in four game modules teaching the assessment of fore-and hindlimb lameness. Computer animations of horses in this game displayed 0% (sound) to 70% (moderately lame) vertical movement asymmetry of head and pelvis. Performance, learning effects, diagnostic accuracy, detection thresholds and survey responses were analysed. Results: Following staircase learning, more than 80% of students reliably classified horses with ≥20% asymmetry for forelimb lameness, ≥40% asymmetry for simplified hindlimb lameness and ≥50% asymmetry for realistic hindlimb lameness. During random presentation, on average 82% of sound and 65% of lame horses were assessed correctly during forelimb lameness evaluation, dropping to 39% of sound and 56% of lame horses for hindlimb lameness. Conclusion: In less than two hours, systematic perceptual learning through deliberate practice can develop visual assessment skills to an accuracy level comparable to expert assessors scoring the same animations. Skills should be developed further to improve misclassifications of sound and mildly lame horses, especially for hindlimb lameness evaluation.


Starke, S. D., Miles, G. C., Channon, S. B., & May, S. A. (2021). Effect of gamified perceptual learning on visual detection and discrimination skills in equine gait assessment. Veterinary Record,

Journal Article Type Article
Acceptance Date Dec 3, 2020
Online Publication Date Mar 1, 2021
Publication Date Mar 1, 2021
Deposit Date Mar 25, 2021
Publicly Available Date Mar 25, 2021
Journal Veterinary Record
Print ISSN 0042-4900
Electronic ISSN 2042-7670
Publisher Wiley
Peer Reviewed Peer Reviewed
Keywords General Veterinary; General Medicine
Public URL


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