3D Brain Model as Learning Aid


  • Monika Kraškovic University of Ljubljana
  • Andrej Vovk University of Ljubljana



Three-dimensional information is important in medical education and healthcare; however, its understanding can be challenging, especially in medical neuroscience, which is why the world is moving towards a digital environment [1]. Several studies have shown that 3D neuroanatomical learning is an effective strategy for increasing neuroanatomical knowledge, motivation, and retention of neuroanatomical material [2]. The successful development of an interactive 3D learning tool could help alleviate the low level of understanding of students in neuroanatomy by helping students master complex and often abstract spatial relationships between neuroanatomical structures. The goal is to make an improved 3D brain model, both in physical and interactive form, to facilitate learning and understanding of neuroanatomy.

Method and Outcomes

The plan is to print different 3D brain models based on the required levels of neuroanatomy knowledge ranging from primary school, through high school and university - especially in the fields of medicine, psychology, and cognitive science. 3D models could be taken apart into pieces and would be colour coded. First step of the research was to review and compare existing studies, to get the idea of the best type of combined learning aid. Printed 3D brain model will be accompanied by a small manual with QR codes that would lead the user to a website, which would also allow, in addition to the virtual 3D image on the screen, the functions of the brain area or nervous system that interests us. Individual sections of the brain will also be integrated into the website, which will also be marked on the 3D physical model itself, perhaps by engraving. It should also be taken into consideration that learning the neuroanatomy takes a long time, so the materials and the models should be assembled in such a way that during n-fold disassembly and assembly it does not wear out or gets destroyed. This could be achieved by choosing the appropriate 3D printing material and technology. It would also be necessary to perform a financial analysis, both of production itself and of potential sales later. The successful development of an interactive 3D learning tool could contribute to assimilate the required neuroanatomical knowledge on different levels of education.


[1] Estavez, M. E., Lindgren, K. A., & Bergethon, P. R. (2010). A Novel Three-dimensional Tool for Teaching Human Neuroanatomy. Anatomical Sciences Education, 3(6), 309–317.

[2] Ekstrand, C., Jamal, A., Nguyen, R., Kudryk, A., Mann, J., & Mendez, I. (2018). Immersive and Interactive Virtual Reality to Improve Learning and Retention of Neuroanatomy in Medical Students: A Randomized Controlled Study. CMAJ open, 6(1), E103–E109.