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FEM: Revista de la Fundación Educación Médica

On-line version ISSN 2014-9840Print version ISSN 2014-9832


PAREDES-ORUE, Richar et al. Use of colors in anatomy illustrations to relate structures, function and pathology in human anatomy learning. FEM (Ed. impresa) [online]. 2019, vol.22, n.4, pp.169-174.  Epub Oct 14, 2019. ISSN 2014-9840.


The learning of human anatomy has been carried out throughout history in a theoretical and practical way, through cadaveric dissection. Several learning theories point out that the use of color keys is essential to improve the recognition of complex structures, for this reason the objective of this article is to present this proposal, and to describe some perceptions of the medical students of a Peruvian university before this strategy.

Subjects and methods:

The strategy is based on the use of different colors to relate muscles with their respective bony inserts and the nerves that innervate them. In the same sense, color is used to highlight the direction and relationships of the arteries. Ultimately, a relation of the same color key is made with the function exerted by a certain muscle group and the pathology derived from the damage of said structure. To evaluate the acceptance of the method and the perceptions it generated in the students, we applied a brief survey with exploratory reasons in students from the second to the sixth year of medicine who have used these illustrations.


A 85.6% answered that ‘they are useful as a graphic summary of body segments’, and a 84.9%, that ‘they can reproduce them easily, being a mnemonic aid in the study’.


We present a method on the use of colors as a resource for the relationship of structures, function and pathology in human anatomy illustrations, which generates positive perceptions in students.

Keywords : Anatomy; Illustrations in anatomy; Medical education.

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