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By the end of this section, you will be able to:
  • Demonstrate the anatomical position
  • Describe the human body using directional and regional terms
  • Identify three planes most commonly used in the study of anatomy
  • Distinguish between the posterior (dorsal) and the anterior (ventral) body cavities, identifying their subdivisions and representative organs found in each
  • Describe serous membrane and explain its function

Anatomists and health care providers use terminology that can be bewildering to the uninitiated. However, the purpose of this language is not to confuse, but rather to increase precision and reduce medical errors. For example, is a scar “above the wrist” located on the forearm two or three inches away from the hand? Or is it at the base of the hand? Is it on the palm-side or back-side? By using precise anatomical terminology, we eliminate ambiguity. Anatomical terms derive from ancient Greek and Latin words. Because these languages are no longer used in everyday conversation, the meaning of their words does not change.

Anatomical terms are made up of roots, prefixes, and suffixes. The root of a term often refers to an organ, tissue, or condition, whereas the prefix or suffix often describes the root. For example, in the disorder hypertension, the prefix “hyper-” means “high” or “over,” and the root word “tension” refers to pressure, so the word “hypertension” refers to abnormally high blood pressure.

Anatomical position

To further increase precision, anatomists standardize the way in which they view the body. Just as maps are normally oriented with north at the top, the standard body “map,” or anatomical position    , is that of the body standing upright, with the feet at shoulder width and parallel, toes forward. The upper limbs are held out to each side, and the palms of the hands face forward as illustrated in [link] . Using this standard position reduces confusion. It does not matter how the body being described is oriented, the terms are used as if it is in anatomical position. For example, a scar in the “anterior (front) carpal (wrist) region” would be present on the palm side of the wrist. The term “anterior” would be used even if the hand were palm down on a table.

Regions of the human body

This illustration shows an anterior and posterior view of the human body. The cranial region encompasses the upper part of the head while the facial region encompasses the lower half of the head beginning below the ears. The eyes are referred to as the ocular region. The cheeks are referred to as the buccal region. The ears are referred to as the auricle or otic region. The nose is referred to as the nasal region. The chin is referred to as the mental region. The neck is referred to as the cervical region. The trunk of the body contains, from superior to inferior, the thoracic region encompassing the chest, the mammary region encompassing each breast, the abdominal region encompassing the stomach area, the coxal region encompassing the belt line, and the pubic region encompassing the area above the genitals. The umbilicus, or naval, is located at the center of the abdomen. The pelvis and legs contain, from superior to inferior, the inguinal or groin region between the legs and the genitals, the pubic region surrounding the genitals, the femoral region encompassing the thighs, the patellar region encompassing the knee, the crural region encompassing the lower leg, the tarsal region encompassing the ankle, the pedal region encompassing the foot and the digital/phalangeal region encompassing the toes. The great toe is referred to as the hallux. The regions of the upper limbs, from superior to inferior, are the axillary region encompassing the armpit, the brachial region encompassing the upper arm, the antecubital region encompassing the front of the elbow, the antebrachial region encompassing the forearm, the carpal region encompassing the wrist, the palmar region encompassing the palm, and the digital/phalangeal region encompassing the fingers. The thumb is referred to as the pollux. The posterior view contains, from superior to inferior, the cervical region encompassing the neck, the dorsal region encompassing the upper back and the lumbar region encompassing the lower back. The regions of the back of the arms, from superior to inferior, include the cervical region encompassing the neck, acromial region encompassing the shoulder, the brachial region encompassing the upper arm, the olecranal region encompassing the back of the elbow, the antebrachial region encompasses the back of the arm, and the manual region encompassing the palm of the hand. The posterior regions of the legs, from superior to inferior, include the gluteal region encompassing the buttocks, the femoral region encompassing the thigh, the popliteus region encompassing the back of the knee, the sural region encompassing the back of the lower leg, and the plantar region encompassing the sole of the foot. Some regions are combined into larger regions. These include the trunk, which is a combination of the thoracic, mammary, abdominal, naval, and coxal regions. The cephalic region is a combination of all of the head regions. The upper limb region is a combination of all of the arm regions. The lower limb region is a combination of all of the leg regions.
The human body is shown in anatomical position in an (a) anterior view and a (b) posterior view. The regions of the body are labeled in boldface.

A body that is lying down is described as either prone or supine. Prone describes a face-down orientation, and supine    describes a face up orientation. These terms are sometimes used in describing the position of the body during specific physical examinations or surgical procedures.

Regional terms

The human body’s numerous regions have specific terms to help increase precision (see [link] ). Notice that the term “brachium” or “arm” is reserved for the “upper arm” and “antebrachium” or “forearm” is used rather than “lower arm.” Similarly, “femur” or “thigh” is correct, and “leg” or “crus” is reserved for the portion of the lower limb between the knee and the ankle. You will be able to describe the body’s regions using the terms from the figure.

Questions & Answers

were can anatomy work
capella Reply
what is normal flora
Cris Reply
it's one kind of bacteria
Tariq
the smallest blood vessel is capillary
Richard Reply
How does deoxygenated blood become oxygenated during blood circulation?
Richard
plzzz explain cardiac cycle
Piya Reply
what is anatomy
Gifty Reply
is the study of body structure
Amos
how types of tissue in body
mwiya
What are some of first questions are expected in anatomy and physiology course
Milner Reply
what is pacemaker
mekfira
its a device that is put into the heart to make sure it beats properly
Michelle
SA node produces impulse is called pacemaker
Piya
hi piya
Khubaib
hi Everyone
Hayat
hi everyone
Hong
hey
Edrick
hello
Damien
what's up
Damien
hlo
Lost
hi
Bok
hello
James
hi
IDDRISU
which of the following is the epithelial tissue that lines the interior of blood vessels?
Firomsa Reply
endothelial tissues
Osaki
Endothelial tissue
mabast
why are the questions only 3
Chisom Reply
you too can ask
Addo
what is the function of the skeletal system?
Cris
what is the treatment of herpes simplex virus?
riad Reply
the long bone with two primary center's of ossification for shaft is ________
Aarambam
medulla
Addo
good
Ravi
ha moj ha
Hani
doctor and nurse
Ravi
y 're the questions only 3
Chisom
women are much likely to be pregnant at which stage?
Fatoumatta Reply
There are only six days during any cycle when a woman can get pregnant - the five days leading up to ovulation and the 24 hours after ovulation. This is because sperm can live for up to 5 days in a woman's body, and the ovum lives for only 12-24 hours.
THE
right
Adil
does this apply to women close to menopose
Kuria
what's reason the reason for BP growing ?
Adil
when after they have intercourse
AJ
what is andropause
William Reply
It's the men version of menopause!
Catia
The testosterone levels decrease
Catia
what would happen if the sugar lever drops below the normal level
Marvin Reply
If our blood sugar drops below 70 mg/dL, we may have symptoms, such as feeling tired, weak, or shaky, become confused or drowsy or even lose consciousness and possibly die.
Dhanya
symptoms of hypoglycemia include: shakiness, dizziness, headache, confusion, rapid pulse rate, sweating, Hunger, etc.
EMERIBE
you right
Khubaib
You become dizzy and weak
evans
Is there any way to disable this chat feature or at least mute notifications? Also, does every textbook app from this creator have the chat function?
Atone Reply
I don't think you can disable chat and yes it is on every app
AJ
what is homeostasis
Nikky Reply
what is respiratory
Nikky
Respiratory is breathing
Atone
respiration is an exchange of gases (O2 & CO2) between the body and outside environment.
joey
homeostasis is internal balance.
Ali
Respiratory is system where the body takes in oxygen n releases carbondioxide
Hassan
respiratory system is a system where exhalation and inhalation takes place
Kom
1)inhalation: active diaphragm & external intercoastal muscles 2)exhalation: passive (allow muscle group to relax)
Shoukat
mantaince of body is called homeostasis
Komal
hi komal
Khubaib
how are you komal?
Khubaib
hi
Komal
hey nikki
Khubaib
hii komal
Rinku
where you from kamal?
Khubaib
nice meet you
Rinku
oye rinku kya ha yahan kya kar rha ha
Khubaib
karachi
Komal
but I'm from lahore
Khubaib
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Khubaib
never
Komal
0309
Khubaib
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Rinku
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Khubaib
waw komal
Rinku
where you from?rinku
Khubaib
what is medical coding
Antony
waw komal
Rinku
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Khubaib
I am from dausa,Rajasthan
Rinku
yar hum to pakistan se hain humy baat karny do
Khubaib
hoe r u alll
SARFARAJ
komal jha?
Khubaib
answer me please...What is basic concept or Acidosis?
Khalid
hiii komal
SARFARAJ
al hamd.o.lillah muslim
Khubaib
or aap
Khubaib
Allah ka shukr ha
SARFARAJ
aby tu b india chala ja un ko zarorat ha foji logon ki
Khubaib
beshak
Khubaib
myself Khalid Shabbir.Doctor of Anesthesia from PIMS Hospital.& belongs to Capital IslamAbad(Pakistan).
Khalid
yar sarfraz ap india se kab ay
Khubaib
tell me abt ethmoid bone
Sakshi
bro am all ready indian
SARFARAJ
okkk
SARFARAJ
hii sakshi how are you?
Khubaib
m gd..plz tell me the answer of it..
Sakshi
Face ki he ethmoid bone
Rakesh
ethmoid bone. Irregularly shaped bone anterior to the solenoid. Forms the roof of the nasal cavity, upper nasal septum, and part of the medial orbit walls.
LaKecia
Its unpaired bone of skull that saprate the nasal cavity from the brain it's located at the roof of the nose between the two orbits it's bone is one of the bones that make up the orbit of eye.
SARFARAJ
sphenoid I meant
LaKecia
wrist joint ka dusra name kya he
Rakesh
till me fast my ans
Rakesh
Also included in the ethmoid bone is the crista galli and the cribriform plates. The plates help form the roof of the nasal cavity and the floor of the anterior cranial fossa.
LaKecia
the outer most covering of the brain ( the dura mater) attached to the crista galli and helps secure the brain in the cranial cavity
LaKecia
Sakshi Mishra. I hope that helped!
LaKecia
thnks fo tellng😊
Sakshi
yup
Sakshi
yw
LaKecia
ye kya
Dr
hi
Dr
oh welcome sakshi
Khubaib
synovial joint will have present in wrist
sk
what's the smallest blood vessal in the body?
sk
respiration is the process of inspiration an expiration
Bel
first fall give me ans plz
sk
The protection of internal envirnment from the harm of external envirnmen is called as homeostasis.
Rana
Because stem cells have the unique ability to develop into any cell, stem cell therapy is being considered for treatment of kidney damage. What are your thoughts on stem cell treatment? Give at least three reasons for or against the treatment.
Samira Reply

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Source:  OpenStax, Anatomy & Physiology. OpenStax CNX. Feb 04, 2016 Download for free at http://legacy.cnx.org/content/col11496/1.8
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