Monday, May 14, 2018

Understanding Neurophobia Among Medical and Other Health Care Students

Andre Toulouse, PhD, (University College,
Cork, Ireland) lead author on
article about neurophobia
Neurophobia, a trepidation among students in health-related fields when it comes to neuroanatomy, is a real thing and has been studied by several researchers in medical education. A recent paper by an Irish group appearing in Anatomical Sciences Education, entitled "Understanding neurophobia: reasons behind impaired understanding and learning of neuroanatomy in cross-disciplinary healthcare students", examines this phenomenon further. The authors write: "Neuroanatomy is perceived as a more difficult subject compared to other anatomy topics (e.g., reproductive/pelvic anatomy)...[U]nderstanding of neuroanatomy could be enhanced and neurophobia decreased by purposefully designed computer aided learning resources. This data could help curricular designers to refocus attention and guide educators to develop improved neuroanatomy web resources in future." Interestingly, when students were surveyed about what they would find most helpful in online neuroanatomy learning, blog posts were perceived as likely to be least helpful, while photographs of brain prosections and computer animations were perceived to be the most helpful.

Reference: Javaid MA, Chakraborty S, Cryan JF, Schellekens H, Toulouse A. Understanding neurophobia: reasons behind impaired understanding and learning of neuroanatomy in cross-disciplinary healthcare students. Anat Sci Educ 11:81-93 (2018).

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