Human Anatomy and Physiology Laboratory Manual, Cat Version: body orientation and direction Flashcards

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superior/interior (above/below)

These terms refer to placement of a structure along the long axis of the body. Superior structures always appear above other structures, and inferior structures are always below structures. For example the nose is superior to the mouth, and the abdomen is inferior to the chest.


Anterior/posterior (front/back)

In humans the most anterior structures are those that are most forward-the face, chest, and abdomen. Posterior structures are those towards the backside of the body. for instance, the spine is posterior to the heart.


Medial/lateral (towards the midline/away from the midline)

the sternum is medial to the rids and the ear is lateral to the nose


Cephalad (cranial)/caudal (towards the head/ towards the tail)

in humans these terms are used interchangeably with superior and anterior, but in four legged animals they are synonymous with anterior and posterior


Dorsal/ventral (backside/frontside)

these terms are used chiefly in discussing the comparative anatomy of animals


Proximal/distal (near the trunk or attached end/ father from the trunk or point of attachment

These terms are used primarily to locate various areas of the body limbs. For example the fingers are distal to the elbow; the knee is proximal to the toes


superficial (external) /deep (internal) (towards or at the body surface /away from the body surface)

These terms locate the body organs according to their relative closeness to the body surface. For example, the skin is superficial to the muscles, and the funds are deep to the rib cage