Playbased Learning in Anatomy: Impact on Cultural Conceptions and Cadaveric Affronting from Cognitive Neuroscience

Tweet about this on TwitterShare on FacebookEmail this to someoneShare on Google+

Martín J. Mazzoglio y Nabar; Rubén D. Algieri; Elba B. Tornese; M. Soledad Ferrante; Carolina Broffman & Agustín Algieri


The act of playing is as ancient as humanity itself, yet Huizinga was the one who re-signified the concept of “ludic” as a didactive resource related to culture. Play-based learning was developed as a didactic strategy by the forerunners of the New School. Several Authors (Brunner, Frebel, Decroly, Montessori, Cossettini and Freire) have analyzed its pedagogy projections and stressed the impact and formative value in the cognitive strategies involved in problem solving tasks, attention and memory development, as well it’s motivational and creativity elements. The object of the present work is to evaluate the impact of these didactic interventions in the cultural and conceptual conceptions of the students related to cadaveric material in the course of practical working during anatomy classes. Observational and transversal study through a questionnaire applied to 658 medical students (2016, n = 198; 2017, n= 228; 2018 n=232) which included a Modified Templer Death Anxiety Scale, population questions (age, gender, place of birth, situation regarding the subject, work-related aspects, former studies, motivations related to career choice). Terminology related to “cadaveric material” and “anatomic piece” was investigated with Bernard’s free-listing and lot-drawing techniques in order to investigate cultural and imaginary conceptions and groups of conceptual dimensions. The class structure divides the students in two different ckassrooms, in order to evaluate difference with the inclusion of play-based activities in one of them. The results were processed using tests of descriptive and inferencial statistics (SPSS and dendrogram making), to evaluate the terminological analysis, Visual Anthropac Freelists versión: and Visual Anthropac Pilesorts versión: The present research takes into account all current ethical and legal norms. It has been observed that terms such as “cadaveric material” and “anatomic piece” were associated mainly with repugnancy, disgust, fear and study mate- rial. It was observed, in the group of student using play based techniques, a lesser number of negative terminology, as well as conceptual dimensions related with the material as a didactic and instructional resource instead of a distress factor. In conclusion the implementation of play-based techniques in the learning process of the Anatomy coursework was positively associated with a lesser negative impact in both associated terminology and in conceptual dimensions related to cadaveric material. Such an impact is of par- ticular importance in the context of teaching and it would relate with the decrease of negative factors in cadaveric affronting.

KEY WORDS: Anatomy; Cadaveric Affronting; Play- based learning.

How to cite this article

MAZZOGLIO Y NABAR, M. J.; ALGIERI, R. D.; TORNESE, E. B.; FERRANTE, M. S.; BROFFMAN, C. & ALGIERI, A. Playbased learning in Anatomy: impact on cultural conceptions and cadaveric affronting from cognitive neuroscienceInt. J. Morphol., 38(4):1065-1073, 2020.