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From The CriticsReviewer: John K. Hubbard, PhD, PT (Texas A&M University Health Science Center)
Description: This interactive CD-ROM features more than 5,000 photographic cadaver dissection images integrated with histologic and radiographic images, animations of anatomic and physiologic function, and a testing mode.
Purpose: It is evident that this can be used as a supplement to a cadaver dissection course or as a standalone resource for students in any anatomy and physiology course who do not have the benefit of dissecting a cadaver. This presentation is ideal for students who do not have the luxury of studying in an anatomical dissection lab, yet need to be able to see and understand the structures of the body and their relationships with each other.
Audience: The CD-ROM is appropriate for students in any of the medical, dental, or allied health professions. It also would serve the undergraduate population well, especially those who are not able to perform cadaveric dissections. The authors do a good job of categorizing, integrating, and presenting the information so that it will meet the needs of this varied audience.
Features: This unique product integrates expertly dissected and photographed images in a manner that allows the images to be combined to present a layered look at the body. The dissections and photographs are of the highest quality, making most other atlases and CD-ROMs pale in comparison. A search engine makes looking up structures extremely easy. The navigation pane also gives users multiple options, with the ability to switch views between the dissection photographs, video animations of the structure being viewed, and histologic and radiographic images, when applicable. Structures can be labeled and highlighted with annotations and pronunciations are available at the touch of a button. The self-test includes options for identification of structures on the dissection photographs or multiple choice questions. The test is fairly constructed, not requiring the user to type in the answer, which eliminates being marked wrong for spelling or terminology differences. The CD-ROM self-installed on my computer, and was extremely easy to use without requiring any adjustments to my computer settings. An extensive tutorial walks users through the product. The search engine is concise and gives multiple options based on the structure. Most of the images can be captured and saved for importation into an image file or directly into presentations. The entire body and all major systems are included. The animations are expertly done with both text and audio narration to explain the function of the structures in a concise, accurate manner. I found only two shortcomings. There is no back navigation button, so it took some trial and error to figure out how to return to an image after I had cross-linked to something else such as a histological image or animation. I would have liked additional histological images, but it does include basic images.
Assessment: I really enjoyed using this. The dissections are complete and beautifully done. The physiology section is easy to understand and expertly animated. Although the CD-ROM cannot show the 3D relationship between structures, nor can it replace the actual dissection experience, it presents a complete view of the human body combining structures with their function. It is superior to other CD-ROM anatomy products in its clarity and completeness.