A study was conducted to test the hypothesis that instruction with graphically integrated representations of whole and sectional neuroanatomy is especially effective for learning to recognize neural structures in sectional imagery (such as magnetic resonance imaging [MRI]). Neuroanatomy was taught to two groups of participants using computer graphical models of the human brain. Both groups learned whole anatomy first with a three-dimensional model of the brain. One group then learned sectional anatomy using two-dimensional sectional representations, with the expectation that there would be transfer of learning from whole to sectional anatomy. The second group learned sectional anatomy by moving a virtual cutting plane through the three-dimensional model. In tests of long-term retention of sectional neuroanatomy, the group with graphically integrated representation recognized more neural structures that were known to be challenging to learn. This study demonstrates the use of graphical representation to facilitate a more elaborated (deeper) understanding of complex spatial relations.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Experimental and Cognitive Psychology
- Developmental and Educational Psychology