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ERIC Number: EJ858985
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2009
Pages: 5
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1935-9772
Using Color and Grayscale Images to Teach Histology to Color-Deficient Medical Students
Rubin, Lindsay R.; Lackey, Wendy L.; Kennedy, Frances A.; Stephenson, Robert B.
Anatomical Sciences Education, v2 n2 p84-88 Mar-Apr 2009
Examination of histologic and histopathologic microscopic sections relies upon differential colors provided by staining techniques, such as hematoxylin and eosin, to delineate normal tissue components and to identify pathologic alterations in these components. Given the prevalence of color deficiency (commonly called "color blindness") in the general population, it is likely that this reliance upon color differentiation poses a significant obstacle for several medical students beginning a course of study that includes examination of histologic slides. In the past, first-year medical students at Michigan State University who identified themselves as color deficient were encouraged to use color transparency overlays or tinted contact lenses to filter out problematic colors. Recently, however, we have offered such students a computer monitor adjusted to grayscale for in-lab work, as well as grayscale copies of color photomicrographs for examination purposes. Grayscale images emphasize the texture of tissues and the contrasts between tissues as the students learn histologic architecture. Using this approach, color-deficient students have quickly learned to compensate for their deficiency by focusing on cell and tissue structure rather than on color variation. Based upon our experience with color-deficient students, we believe that grayscale photomicrographs may also prove instructional for students with normal (trichromatic) color vision, by encouraging them to consider structural characteristics of cells and tissues that may otherwise be overshadowed by stain colors. (Contains 5 figures.)
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Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: Michigan