The mediums of dissemination of knowledge and illustration in neurosurgery: unraveling the evolution

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  • 1 Department of Neurosurgery, Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School and University Hospital, New Brunswick, New Jersey; and
  • 2 Rice University, Houston, Texas
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The earliest evidence of man’s attempts in communicating ideas and emotions can be seen on cave walls and ceilings from the prehistoric era. Ingenuity, as well as the development of tools, allowed clay tablets to become the preferred method of documentation, then papyrus and eventually the codex. As civilizations advanced to develop structured systems of writing, knowledge became a power available to only those who were literate. As the search to understand the intricacies of the human brain moved forward, so did the demand for teaching the next generation of physicians. The different methods of distributing information were forced to advance, lest the civilization falls behind. Here, the authors present a historical perspective on the evolution of the mediums of illustration and knowledge dissemination through the lens of neurosurgery. They highlight how the medium of choice transitioned from primitive clay pots to cutting-edge virtual reality technology, aiding in the propagation of medical literature from generation to generation across the centuries.

ABBREVIATIONS AR = augmented reality; VR = virtual reality; 3D = three-dimensional.

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Contributor Notes

Correspondence Anil Nanda: Rutgers-Robert Wood Johnson Medical School, New Brunswick; Rutgers New Jersey Medical School, Newark, NJ.

INCLUDE WHEN CITING Published online December 4, 2020; DOI: 10.3171/2020.7.JNS201053.

Disclosures The authors report no conflict of interest concerning the materials or methods used in this study of the findings specified in this paper.

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