Gunner Goggles Neurology: Brain World Review

A Review of Gunner Goggles Neurology
by Hao-Hua Wu and Leo Wang
(Elsevier, 2019)

Cramming the night before seems to be the inevitable culmination of reviewing for any kind of exam — regardless of how old you are, its significance, or the complexity of the material. Some swear that it’s an acquired skill that can be picked up by making notecards of important terms, or spacing out reading sessions with a small reward. You might budget your review session over the span of a few nights but all too often you’ll find your experience is just you and the book — you only have the one frame of reference — and commit only the text’s definition to memory, without ways to apply it.

There’s almost always guaranteed to be things you may miss — or fail to memorize — regardless of how many notecards you write out. As engaging as you may find the material, you may just not be the type who can commit everything to memory by simply reading about it — nor is that how you would find any of the material occurring in nature.

These were some of the tribulations that authors Wu and Wang endured throughout their time at medical school — and so they set out to establish the “Gunner Goggles” series of study guides — course books that make use of not only the terminology, endnotes, and practice assessments you see in your basic textbook, but supplement it with the use of augmented reality.

The guide to neurology comes with access to a website and a phone app, giving a third dimension to your studying experience. By simply scanning your phone over the margins, you unlock links to animated illustrations showing the buildup of amyloid plaque, or excerpts from “This American Life” talking about the firsthand experience of living with clinical depression.

In just the last decade, great strides have been made in the field of neuroscience, as we have begun to understand the physiological causes of mental illness and so many psychiatric disorders that have been plaguing us for decades and have permeated much of the world we know.

Making use of augmented reality technology, in the same way that the news media has in recent years, allows the reader to see concepts applied throughout other aspects of life, to learn visually and aesthetically. When students once had to rely on accurate illustrations, you can now access your own three-dimensional model of the human brain from the comfort of your living room.

Studies have consistently shown that the brain digests new material most effectively after a sustained rest period the night before — something that readers can easily maintain with this book as a guide — it even includes an afterword with tips on preparing for exam day.

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