Back

Welcome to my concept demonstration for a game to test users on their knowledge of neuroanatomy. In this game users will play through trivia questions of the spinal cord - starting from the bottom in the lumbar cord and ascending up to the cervico-medullary junction. Though designed as an arena to test mastery of knowledge, the easy and medium difficulties can be used also as a medical education tool. In these difficulties, the question algorithm selects easier questions and groups questions of similar topics. In the hard difficulty, users will see randomly selected questions as well as questions on clinical and historical neuroanatomy.

Neuroanatomy

Neuroanatomy has traditionally been a study of transverse, or axial, slices of the central nervous system. Within each slice, students of all levels have been required to learn the location of ascending and descending tracts, nuclei, and other anatomical structures. Because of the increasing complexity of the nervous system in the brain stem and cerebrum, classes are usually taught starting with the spinal cord and basic tracts (e.g. corticospinal and dorsal columns). Mastery of neuroanatomy requires one to be able to not only memorize each slice but also visualize these structures in their greater 3-dimensional configuration.

Trivia game + educational tool

While on a fourth-year rotation for medical school, I had the rare privilege of going out for a couple beers on a Friday night. That night my friends and I ended up at an arcade bar where I witnessed some intense competition over a pinball game and the bragging rights over the top scores. I believe this same competitive nature can be found in neuroanatomy. Neurologists, neurosurgeons, researchers, and anatomists all seek perfection in this area of study, but there has yet to be an arena to test one's own knowledge and compete against others. NeuroAscent was born out of this idea and has the potential to become so much more than what you can see here today. Not only does the concept have the potential to expand to cover the entire nervous system, but it can also incorporate so much more functionality. In the early stages, this brainstorm has given me pages upon pages of notes and ideas of what this project could become.

Have you tried playing this game with a group of nerdy friends? Throw this up in front of your class on a Friday afternoon! Have you tried casting this to a ChromeCast device?

Three.JS

Three.JS is a 3D Javascript library used to easily create 3D scenes with WebGL. Nothing on this website uses Flash. There are some limitations with older web browsers and IE, however WebGL works in Chrome, Firefox, and other newer internet browsers. NeuroAscent also runs great with mobile versions of those browsers!

Question bank

This current concept demonstration consists of 4 levels where users/players start at the lowest level of spinal cord and ascend (get it?) to where the spinal cord meets the brain stem.

What next?

I am an amateur programmer who just graduated from medical school and will be starting my residency at the time of publishing this concept demonstration. I have tediously brought this fantastic idea into its current form over the past 8 months, but I now lack the time or resources to continue. Over this time, I have compiled many notes and ideas on how I would expand this concept into a glorious product to attract those not only learning neuroanatomy, but those seeking a fun way to test their knowledge. For now, I am thrilled to be showing you the work I have completed so far. Maybe it will continue someday. Maybe users will be able to someday reach the summit!

Thank you for reading! Please send any communications to chris@ctalbs.com