Influence of using 3D images and 3D-printed objects on spatial reasoning of experts and novices

Abstract

This study focuses on the infuence of a three-dimensional (3D) graphic image and a 3D-printed object on the spatial reasoning of experts and novices in the medical field. The spatial reasoning task of this study required doctors specializing in digestive surgery to infer cross sections of a liver with a 3D image and a 3D-printed object in a situation where liver resection surgery was simulated. The task performance was compared with that of university students who conducted the same task in Maehigashi et al. (2016). The results of the analysis indicated that the doctors showed the same task performance when using the 3D image and the 3D-printed object. However, the university students learned faster and inferred the inside of a liver structure more accurately with the 3D-printed object than with the 3D image, and they performed equally to the professional doctors. Our results were discussed in relation to previous studies.


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