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Ann Anat. 2015 Sep;201:91-8. doi: 10.1016/j.aanat.2015.05.006. Epub 2015 Jul 6.

Stereoscopic neuroanatomy lectures using a three-dimensional virtual reality environment.

Author information

1
Department of Neurosurgery, Klinik Hirslanden, Zurich, Switzerland; Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Mainz, Germany. Electronic address: ralf.kockro@hirslanden.ch.
2
Department of Radiology, Children's Hospital Zurich, Switzerland.
3
Department of Neurosurgery, Klinik Hirslanden, Zurich, Switzerland; Paraplegia Laboratory, University Hospital Balgrist, Zurich, Switzerland.
4
Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Mainz, Germany.
5
Department of Neurosurgery, Klinik Hirslanden, Zurich, Switzerland; Department of Neurosurgery, University Hospital Mainz, Germany.
6
Department of Anatomy, University Hospital, Mainz, Germany.

Abstract

INTRODUCTION:

Three-dimensional (3D) computer graphics are increasingly used to supplement the teaching of anatomy. While most systems consist of a program which produces 3D renderings on a workstation with a standard screen, the Dextrobeam virtual reality VR environment allows the presentation of spatial neuroanatomical models to larger groups of students through a stereoscopic projection system.

MATERIALS AND METHODS:

Second-year medical students (n=169) were randomly allocated to receive a standardised pre-recorded audio lecture detailing the anatomy of the third ventricle accompanied by either a two-dimensional (2D) PowerPoint presentation (n=80) or a 3D animated tour of the third ventricle with the DextroBeam. Students completed a 10-question multiple-choice exam based on the content learned and a subjective evaluation of the teaching method immediately after the lecture.

RESULTS:

Students in the 2D group achieved a mean score of 5.19 (±2.12) compared to 5.45 (±2.16) in the 3D group, with the results in the 3D group statistically non-inferior to those of the 2D group (p<0.0001). The students rated the 3D method superior to 2D teaching in four domains (spatial understanding, application in future anatomy classes, effectiveness, enjoyableness) (p<0.01).

CONCLUSION:

Stereoscopically enhanced 3D lectures are valid methods of imparting neuroanatomical knowledge and are well received by students. More research is required to define and develop the role of large-group VR systems in modern neuroanatomy curricula.

KEYWORDS:

Anatomical models; Dextrobeam; Medical education; Medical students; Neuroanatomy; Third ventricle; Three-dimensional; Virtual reality

PMID:
26245861
DOI:
10.1016/j.aanat.2015.05.006
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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