Learning Brain Anatomy, the Hands-On Way

IMG_7109, originally uploaded by dynamicsubspace.

I tend to learn things better when I can pick them up, turn them around, and take them apart. Since the human brain is such a big part of my dissertation, I wanted to apply this hands-on approach to better learning and understanding brain anatomy.

If you click through the picture above, you will be taken to my set of photos on Flickr of my human skull and eight part brain model. It is approximately life-size, and it can be disassembled.

The skull’s jaw is hinged and restrained with two springs, and the skull cap or calvaria may be removed to expose the brain case and brain. The brain is made out of a transparent and soft plastic that can be taken apart into eight pieces representing the major externally noticeable features of the brain.

For less than $40 on ebay, this model serves its purpose at a great price.

In conjunction with the model, I have found PBS’s Secret Life of the Brain website to be very useful for studying brain anatomy. If you have Adobe Shockwave installed, you can access that site’s interactive 3D brain viewer: http://www.pbs.org/wnet/brain/3d/

Published by

Jason W. Ellis

I am an Associate Professor of English at the New York City College of Technology, CUNY whose teaching includes composition and technical communication, and research focuses on science fiction, neuroscience, and digital technology. Also, I direct the B.S. in Professional and Technical Writing Program and coordinate the City Tech Science Fiction Collection, which holds more than 600 linear feet of magazines, anthologies, novels, and research publications.