Department Directory

Retired/Emeritus Faculty

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James H. Johnson

James H. Johnson, Ph.D.

Office Phone: 804-828-9536


  • B.A., Biology, University of Northern Iowa (1966)
  • Ph.D., Anatomy, University of California at Los Angeles (1970)
  • Postdoctoral training, University of California at Los Angeles

Research and Scholarly Interests

Recent activities are an extension of earlier efforts in developing computer aided instructional packages using audio narrations or text annotations of dissection images or atlas pictures. Current activities involve two major thrusts: exploring productive uses of the world wide web in teaching, and use of three-dimensional computer models in the illustration of anatomy. A collection of three-dimensional (3-D) models derived from the photographic, CT or MRI data of the Visible Human Project is being developed in collaboration with Dr. John Stewart. Manipulatable virtual reality modeling language (VRML) presentations with or without annotations will be posted via WWW allowing appreciation of views from many different perspectives, together with relationships of surrounding structures. Impact on learning of manipulability and 3-D viewing will be evaluated.

A second interest is in medical informatics. We are participating in the evaluation of Cornelius Rosse's Digital Anatomist Foundational Model, and the Foundational Knowledge Builder being developed at the University of Washington, and we are exploring conditions of classification and storage of 2-D and 3-D images to enhance knowledge-based retrieval.

Representative Publications

  • Johnson, J.H. and Stewart, J.E. A Path From the National Library of Medicine's AnatLine Database to 3D Virtual Reality Modeling Language Models. Proc. Third Visible Human Project Conference, 2000.
  • Johnson, J.H., Zhao,C., James, J.R., and Rosecrans, J.A. Individual variability of dopamine release from nucleus accumbens induced by nicotine. Brain Res Bull 51:249-253, 2000.
  • Johnson, J.H. Usage patterns for a website published in support of a medical gross anatomy course. Journal of Information Technology in Medicine, Volume 3 Number 1, 2000.
  • Stewart, J.E., Graham, R.S., Johnson, J.H., Hack, G.D. and Broaddus, W.C. Improved 3D anatomic understanding through stereoscopic visualization. Proc. Second Visible Human Project Conference, p. 77, 1998.
Department of Anatomy and Neurobiology Virginia Commonwealth University VCU Medical Center
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