Tuesday, November 27, 2012

REVIEW: 3D Brain App (v1.1)

This free App is available for both the iPhone and the iPad as well as Android Phones.  It was created by Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory (CSH), so my initial expectation was that it would be a good resource.  I highly recommend the  CSH Genes to Cognition website  for students interested in learning about genetic disorders of the brain that influence behavior and cognition.

At the time I downloaded and tested it, the average review it received was 3.5 of 5 stars.

This APP is graphically attractive and the ability to view relatively large anatomical structures in 3D and interior structure through a translucent image of overlying landmarks should be very helpful to those who find traditional 2D drawings meager learning tools.

     Translucent brain structures help in placing anatomical structures (cerebral ventricles on the left and amygdala on the right) within the brain in relation to overlying landmarks.

The images may be viewed with labels or without; a feature that should be helpful to anyone who is reviewing material for an exam or quiz.  In addition to the images there is an INFO tab that provides a brief but very informative description of the functional aspects of each structure.  Structures can be located either by browsing through a table of contents or be entering a search term memory.  Searches can be done based upon associated functions (e.g., memory, depression) as well as the names of brain structures.

I particularly like that information is provided summarizing research findings regarding the associated functions of the structures and that there are hyperlinks to these primary sources as well as other related internet sites.  In some cases there are case reports that are provided which offer additional evidence for the associated functions of various brain structures (e.g., the patient S.M. and emotional processing within the Amygdala).

The list of structures provided on the iPone App appears to be as comprehensive as the list on the CSH website.

There are more detailed anatomical resources on the web but those can come at a signifcant cost.  This free application should be more than adequate for students in an introductory psychology or neuroscience course.

BOTTOM LINE: Highly Recommended for students in an introductory high school or college psychology or neuroscience course. But be sure to visit the CSH website which is a much more comprehensive resource that will be helpful to students in more advanced courses.

LINK:  The CSH 3D Brain App is available at the Apple App Store and the Android Market.

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