This web-based tutorial serves as an introduction to sectional anatomy of the human brain for preclinical students enrolled in medical neurobiology or neuroanatomy. It was developed to stimulate self-directed local and distance learning by integrating sectional anatomy into a structured format that is readily accessible for identification of labeled structures in high-quality images of the normal brain. The knowledge gained is fundamental to the interpretation of CT, MRI, and PET-scans. Sections with Weil-Weigart stain were scanned, digitized, and converted into Adobe Authorware to provide learners with images of internal brain structures. Brain slices were grouped into four units that target content in coronal, oblique, horizontal, and sagittal planes of section. The tutorial complements didactic and practical activities of beginner healthcare professionals in their basic science years of study. Assignment of this tutorial for self-directed learning has freed up class time. Now students spend scheduled class time in active dissection or in integrating the lecture and laboratory course contents. This approach also addresses the paucity of qualified teaching faculty in the dissection laboratory, as the self-directed tutorial is peer-reviewed and accurate. Organizing content into a discrete tutorial has proven highly effective in teaching learners a large volume of information without overwhelming them all at once. It provides learners with a glimpse into the comprehensive evaluation of more contemporary brain imaging techniques like CT, MRI, and PET-scans. Framing content in a clinically-relevant manner not only serves to solidify what students learn in their anatomy courses, but also creates confidence by demonstrating how they will approach imaging of patient problems in their clinical years. Organizing content into discrete tutorials is highly effective in teaching learners a large volume of information without overwhelming them all at once. Preclinical students have the luxury of studying in the library, at home, or in the dissection laboratory and other study areas. A significant part of laboratory practical is identifying internal brain structures and learner performance has historically been poor on this portion of examinations. Exposing students to introductory sectional anatomy also provides learners with a glimpse into the comprehensive evaluation of more contemporary brain imaging techniques like CT, MRI, and PET-scans.
- Know labeled structures identified in consecutive serial sections of a normal human brain.
- Recognize the identified structures in coronal, oblique, horizontal, and sagittal planes of section.
- Use the fundamental knowledge gained as a basis for the interpretation of sectional anatomy in CT, MRI, and PET-scans.
Neurobiology BrainSlice Tutorial: A Project report, MA Thesis by Jeffrey Altemus for the partial fulfillment of the requirements for the Master of Arts degree in Technological Education, West Virginia University College of Human Resources and Education, 2000.
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