Scientific article
Open access

How Spatial Abilities and Dynamic Visualizations Interplay When Learning Functional Anatomy With 3D Anatomical Models

Published inAnatomical sciences education, vol. 8, no. 5, p. 452-462
Publication date2015

The emergence of dynamic visualizations of three-dimensional (3D) models in anatomy curricula may be an adequate solution for spatial difficulties encountered with traditional static learning, as they provide direct visualization of change throughout the viewpoints. However, little research has explored the interplay between learning material presentation formats, spatial abilities, and anatomical tasks. First, to understand the cognitive challenges a novice learner would be faced with when first exposed to 3D anatomical content, a six-step cognitive task analysis was developed. Following this, an experimental study was conducted to explore how presentation formats (dynamic vs. static visualizations)support learning of functional anatomy, and affect subsequent anatomical tasks derived from the cognitive task analysis. A second aim was to investigate the interplay between spatial abilities (spatial visualization and spatial relation) and presentation formats when the functional anatomy of a 3D scapula and the associated shoulder flexion movement are learned. Findings showed no main effect of the presentation formats on performances, but revealed the predictive influence of spatial isualization and spatial relation abilities on performance. However, an interesting interaction between presentation formats and spatial relation ability for a specific anatomical task was found. This result highlighted the influence of presentation formats when spatial abilities are involved as well as the differentiated influence of spatial abilities on anatomical tasks.

  • gross anatomy education
  • kinesiology education
  • dynamic visualization
  • 3D anatomy
  • spatial ability
  • mental rotation
  • functional anatomy
Citation (ISO format)
BERNEY, Sandra et al. How Spatial Abilities and Dynamic Visualizations Interplay When Learning Functional Anatomy With 3D Anatomical Models. In: Anatomical sciences education, 2015, vol. 8, n° 5, p. 452–462. doi: 10.1002/ase.1524
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Article (Published version)
ISSN of the journal1935-9772

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