Virtual, 3-Dimensional Temporal Bone Model and Its Educational Value for Neurosurgical Trainees

Peter J. Morone, Kushal J. Shah, Benjamin K. Hendricks, Aaron Cohen-Gadol

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

9 Scopus citations


Objective: Learning complex neuroanatomy is an arduous yet important task for every neurosurgical trainee. As technology has advanced, various modalities have been created to aid our understanding of anatomy. This study sought to assess the educational value of a virtual, 3-dimensional (3D) temporal bone model. Methods: The 3D temporal bone model was created with assistance of computer graphic designers and published online. Its educational value as a teaching was tool was assessed by querying 73 neurosurgery residents at 4 institutions and was compared with that of a standard, 2-dimensional (2D) temporal bone resource. Data were collected via a survey, and significance among responses was analyzed via a univariate chi-square test. Results: The survey response rate was 37%. Greater than 90% of residents preferred to study with the 3D model compared with the 2D resource and felt that the 3D model allowed them understand the anatomy more realistically (P = 0.001). Moreover, >90% of residents believed that reviewing the 3D model before an actual surgery could lead to improved operative efficiency and safety (P = 0.001). Conclusions: This study demonstrates the utility of a novel, 3D temporal bone model as a teaching tool for neurosurgery residents. The model contains accurate anatomic structures and allows user interaction via a virtual, immersive environment.

Original languageEnglish (US)
JournalWorld Neurosurgery
StateAccepted/In press - Jan 1 2018


  • Anatomy
  • Neurosurgery
  • Temporal bone
  • Three-dimensional
  • Virtual reality

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Surgery
  • Clinical Neurology

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