Master’s Project: AR and 3D-based mobile application exploring brain anatomy

Neuroanatomy is the section of anatomy that many students find especially challenging. This phenomenon was defined by Ralph F. Jozefovicz as “Neurophobia”. To master neuroanatomy learner must possess strong spatial mapping skills in order to visualise complex neuroanatomical structures and understand how they relate to each other. Textbooks and anatomical atlases are currently the most commonly used resources for teaching neuroanatomy. However, these have some major limitations due to their two-dimensional nature. Cadaveric dissections, which are currently considered a gold standard for studying anatomy, present some serious challenges, from both practical and ethical angles. Considering growing demand for neurologists and specialists in adjacent disciplines, neurophobia amongst medical and life-science students is a serious issue.

Using emerging technologies such as 3D and AR for teaching anatomy (including neuroanatomy) has been proven to be effective in improving learning outcomes of the students. These technologies provided elements of novelty, which helped making the learning experience more exciting and enjoyable. This, in turn, increased students’ motivation and, subsequently, their academic performance.

Building upon previous research, the decision was made to develop an AR and 3D-based mobile application which could be used as a learning aid by anyone willing to master neuroanatomy. The app features AR, 3D and 2D scenes, as well as a short quiz. AR functionality relies on an accompanying booklet, which contains AR-targets.

The application together with the accompanying booklet can be downloaded here:

Demo of the AR and 3D-based mobile application exploring brain anatomy

This application was developed to be used by anyone who wishes to introduce themselves to the basics of neuroanatomy. There are three modes: AR, 3D, and 2D, as well as a short quiz. AR scene relies on a booklet containing illustrations of the brain structures, serving as AR targets. 2D mode features labelled illustrations and MRI scans. Finally, the 3D scene features the complex, anatomically accurate model of the brain. The user has the opportunity to zoom in and out using the slider, as well as to explode the model if they wish to see the inner neuroanatomical structures. The user can also rotate the model by swiping the screen along the X axis.

Development of an AR and 3D-based mobile application exploring brain anatomy

This video describes the work process behind Yuliya's Master's project.

Brain in AR

This is an accompanying booklet containing basic instructions on how to install and use the app. It contains AR targets (the illustrations with "AR" mark), as well as labelled images and MRI scans.