Chair for Computer Aided Medical Procedures & Augmented Reality
Lehrstuhl für Informatikanwendungen in der Medizin & Augmented Reality

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F. Bork, R. Barmaki, U. Eck, K. Yu, C. Sandor, N. Navab
Empirical Study of Non-Reversing Magic Mirrors for Augmented Reality Anatomy Learning
International Symposium on Mixed and Augmented Reality (ISMAR), 2017 (bib)

Left-right confusion occurs across the entire population and refers to an impeded ability to distinguish between left and right. In medicine this phenomenon is particularly relevant as left and right are always defined with respect to the patient’s point of view, i.e. the doctor’s right is the patient’s left. Traditional anatomy learning resources such as illustrations in textbooks naturally consider this by consistently depicting the anatomy of a patient as seen by an observer standing in front. Augmented Reality Magic Mirrors (MM) are one example of novel anatomy teaching resources and show a user’s digital mirror image augmented with virtual anatomy on a large display. As left and right appear to be reversed in such MM setups, similar to real-world physical mirrors, intriguing perceptual questions arise: is a non-reversing MM (NRMM) the more natural choice for the task of anatomy learning and do users even learn anatomy the wrong way with a traditional, reversing MM (RMM)? In this paper, we explore the perceptual differences between an NRMM and RMM design and present the first empirical study comparing these two concepts for the purpose of anatomy learning. Experimental results demonstrate that medical students perform significantly better at identifying anatomically correct placement of virtual organs in an NRMM. However, interaction was significantly more difficult compared to an RMM. We explore the underlying psychological effects and discuss the implications of using an NRMM on user perception, knowledge transfer, and interaction. This study is relevant for the design of future MM systems in the medical domain and lessons-learned can be transferred to other application domains.
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