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Scientific article
English

Mixed reality compared to the traditional ex cathedra format for neuroanatomy learning : the value of a three-dimensional virtual environment to better understand the real world

Published inNeurosurgical focus, vol. 56, no. 1, E14
Publication date2024-01
First online date2024-01-01
Abstract

OBJECTIVE

Neuroanatomy comprehension is a keystone of understanding intracranial surgeries. Traditionally taught to students during ex cathedra courses, neuroanatomy is described as complex. Mixed reality (MxR) opens new perspectives in the learning process. This study aims to compare MxR-based courses with traditional ex cathedra lectures for neuroanatomy education.

METHODS

Two lectures describing the neuroanatomy of the anterior circulation arteries ("Vascular Lecture" [VS]) and important white matter fiber tracts ("White Fibers Lecture" [WF]) were designed and delivered in ex cathedra and MxR-based formats with the same audio content. Ninety-one medical students were randomly assigned to group A (ex cathedra WF/MxR VS) or group B (MxR WF/ex cathedra VS). The MxR content was delivered via MxR goggles. Prior to each lecture, students took a 10-item multiple choice question (MCQ) pretest. After the lectures, students took a 20-item MCQ posttest (75% neuroanatomy, 25% clinical correlation).

RESULTS

The pretest scores showed no statistical difference between groups. Median posttest scores increased by 14.3% after using the MxR-based format compared to the ex cathedra format (16.00 [13.0, 18.0] vs 14.0 [11.0, 17.0], respectively, p < 0.01). Regarding the VS, students scored 21.7% better using the MxR format compared to the ex cathedra format (14.0 [12.0, 16.0] vs 11.5 [10.0, 14.0], p < 0.001). Concerning the WF, the median score using MxR was 18.0 (17.0, 19.0), and the median score using the ex cathedra format was 17.0 (16.0, 18.0; p < 0.01). Students showed high motivation to learn neuroanatomy in the future using MxR (74%) rather than ex cathedra format (25%; p < 0.001). Mild discomfort using the MxR goggles was reported by 48.3% of participants. Most participants (95.5%) preferred the MxR-based teaching.

CONCLUSIONS

Students acquired a better knowledge of the anatomy of the anterior circulation arteries and white fiber tracts using MxR-based teaching as compared to the standard ex cathedra format. The perception of lecture quality and learning motivation was better using MxR-based teaching despite some mild discomfort. The development of MxR-based solutions is promising to improve neuroanatomy education.

eng
Keywords
  • Augmented reality
  • Mixed reality
  • Neuroanatomy education
  • Vascular
  • White fiber tracts
Citation (ISO format)
SANDRALEGAR, Abiram et al. Mixed reality compared to the traditional ex cathedra format for neuroanatomy learning : the value of a three-dimensional virtual environment to better understand the real world. In: Neurosurgical focus, 2024, vol. 56, n° 1, p. E14. doi: 10.3171/2023.10.FOCUS23620
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ISSN of the journal1092-0684
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Creation01/17/2024 8:14:30 PM
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