Outline – 1, BIO 2310, Anatomical Terminology


A. Anatomy, Gross anatomy, Physiology

Study of Structures and their relationships, Macroscopic Anatomy, Study of Functions

B. Levels of organization

1. Chemical/Molecular

Examples – water, proteins

2. Cellular; Cytology

Smallest living units, example – muscle cell

3. Tissue; Histology

Cells combining for a common function, example – muscle tissue

4. Organ

Tissues combining for a common function, example – heart

5. System

Organs combining for a common function, example – Cardiovascular System

6. Organism

Combination of Systems – Human Being

C. Anatomical Position

Standard for illustrations and descriptions, standing erect with arms down by sides and palms facing forward.

D. Directional Terms

1. Lateral/Medial

Away from body axis/Towards body axis

2. Proximal/Distal

Toward point of origin/Away from point of origin

3. Anterior-Ventral/Posterior-Dorsal

Front-Belly side/Back-Back side

4. Superior-Cranial/Inferior-Caudal

Above-Toward head/Below-Toward tail

5. Superficial-External/Deep-Internal

6. Palmer/Plantar

Palm side/Sole side

7. Ipsilateral, Contralateral, Bilateral

Same side, Opposite side, Both sides

E. Planes and Sections

1. Sagittal, Midsagittal

Separates right and left portions, Equal right & left

2. Transverse(cross)

Separates superior and inferior portions

3. Frontal(coronal)

Separates anterior and posterior portions

F. Cavities

1. Dorsal


Cavity containing brain


Cavity containing spinal cord

2. Ventral [viscera]


Cavity containing heart and lungs, diaphragm inferior boundary


Cavity containing liver, stomach, diaphragm superior boundary


Cavity containing urinary and reproductive organs surrounded by pelvic bones

Organization of the Human Body video