Wednesday, July 29, 2009

What are the best options for using anatomical skeleton models in teaching?

There are as many different types of brain anatomy models as there are teaching activities that have to do with the brain. There are really no right or wrong brain anatomy models; it is just a matter of how detailed and exact you want the training to be. For basic classes brain anatomy models that feature the major brain components in easy to identify, color coded types of representations are the basics. For more advanced students and study the use of brain anatomy models that include fluid flow patterns, major blood vessels and brain systems as well as the details of the brain stem and cervical vertebrae are also important. What types of classes or students use brain anatomy models?
Since the brain is the control center of the body, almost any type of medical class, human biology, physiology or dentistry class will need to have some knowledge of the function and structure of brain parts. Classes that include therapy, trauma and injury management and rehabilitation will also benefit from brain anatomy models that help the students to understand how nerve damage, blood flow and even neck and back injuries or brain injury can lead to other corresponding health concerns and symptoms.
Using the more advanced types of brain anatomy models that clearly show, in larger than life sizes, the various structures of the brain are ideal for larger groups. Life sized brain anatomy models are great for individual study, so combining the two types for both individual review and large group study is highly recommended. Transparent sections in brain anatomy models that allow students to see into the various sections of the brain in relation to the outside structures of the face and head is also an important part of most types of teaching and learning. Why are some brain anatomy models on a base and some are not?
Brain anatomy models that are permanently mounted on a base are good for large group demonstration but also for individual study. The permanent base on these brain anatomy models gives a fixed point of study, plus it provides the students with an accurate representation with regards to the physical location of the brain parts within the skull. This can be very important when the cervical vertebrae are also included in the brain anatomy models as the spinal column of the neck often forms the base for the model.
Brain anatomy models that aren't found on a base are good for students or patients to be able to move and manipulate the brain or to look at highly specialized internal elements or parts of the brain. In some cases the brain may be mounted on a base but may also be completely removable, providing the opportunity for spatial relationship of the brain structures and the head as well as up close, individual study of the various brain parts. Selecting one of these types of brain anatomy models may provide several teachable options for both students and patient consultation.

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