Immersive Visualization of 3D Protein Structures for Bioscience Students
We have developed a visualization software to display protein structures in 3D on high-performance head-mounted displays (HMDs). This software aims to support students studying bioscience in understanding protein structures easily and rapidly. An experiment was conducted to examine how the immersive HMD visualization could enhance students’ understanding of protein structures and raise their interest and motivation for learning. In the experiment, we compared 2D visualization of the 3D structures designed for desktop computers with 3D visualization designed for an immersive VR environment using high-performance HMDs. The results showed that students understood the protein structures after participating in the HMD observation better than after the observation on the desktop computers. When participating in the immersive VR environment, students had the feeling that they were actually inside the protein molecules. They viewed the 3D molecules as if they were real objects in front of them and tried to grab them. These results indicate that immersive visualization of 3D protein structures is effective for improving students’ understanding.
KeywordsImmersive visualization HMD Bioscience education
This research is supported by the MEXT (the Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology of Japan) Supported Program for the Strategic Research Foundation at Private Universities (No. S1511019L).
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