Spatial and visual reasoning: Do these abilities improve in first-year veterinary medical students exposed to an integrated curriculum?

Juan claudio Gutierrez, Munashe Chigerwe, Jan Ilkiw, Patricia Youngblood, Steven D. Holladay, Sakti Srivastava

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


Spatial visualization ability refers to the human cognitive ability to form, retrieve, and manipulate mental models of spatial nature. Visual reasoning ability has been linked to spatial ability. There is currently limited information about how entry-level spatial and visual reasoning abilities may predict veterinary anatomy performance or may be enhanced with progression through the veterinary anatomy content in an integrated curriculum. The present study made use of two tests that measure spatial ability and one test that measures visual reasoning ability in veterinary students: Guay's Visualization of Views Test, adapted version (GVVT), the Mental Rotations Test (MRT), and Raven's Advanced Progressive Matrices Test, short form (RavenT). The tests were given to the entering class of veterinary students during their orientation week and at week 32 in the veterinary medical curriculum. Mean score on the MRT significantly increased from 15.2 to 20.1, and on the RavenT significantly increased from 7.5 to 8.8. When females only were evaluated, results were similar to the total class outcome; however, all three tests showed significant increases in mean scores. A positive correlation between the pre-and post-test scores was found for all three tests. The present results should be considered preliminary at best for associating anatomic learning in an integrated curriculum with spatial and visual reasoning abilities. Other components of the curriculum, for instance histology or physiology, could also influence the improved spatial visualization and visual reasoning test scores at week 32.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)669-675
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Veterinary Medical Education
Issue number4
StatePublished - Dec 1 2017


  • Curriculum
  • Spatial ability
  • Veterinary anatomy
  • Visual reasoning

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education
  • veterinary(all)


Dive into the research topics of 'Spatial and visual reasoning: Do these abilities improve in first-year veterinary medical students exposed to an integrated curriculum?'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this