A&P Body Orientation and Direction Ch1 Flashcards Preview

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Flashcards in A&P Body Orientation and Direction Ch1 Deck (20):


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 other structures. Ex. The nose is superior to the mouth, and the abdomen is inferior to the chest.



Front/Back In humans the most anterior structures arte those that are most forward-the face, chest, and abdomen. Posterior structures are those toward the backside of the body. For instance, the spine is posterior to the heart.



toward the midline/away from the midline The sternum (breastbone) is medial to the ribs; the ear is lateral to the nose.


Cephalad (Cranial)/Caudal

Toward the head/toward the tail In humans these terms are used interchangeably with superior and inferior, but in four-legged animals they are synonymous with anterior and posterior, respectively.



Backside/Belly side these terms are used chiefly in discussing the comparative anatomy of animals, assuming the animal is standing. Dorsal refers to the animals back or the backside of any other structures, for example, the posterior surface of the human leg is its dorsal surface. Ventral means belly, and always refers to the belly side of animals. in humans the terms ventral and dorsal are used interchangeably with the terms anterior and posterior.



Nearer the trunk or attached end/farther from the trunk or point of attachment. These terms are used primarily to locate various areas of the body limbs. Ex: the fingers are distal to the elbow, the knee is proximal to the toes. However, these terms may also be used to indicate regions (closer to or farther from the head) of internal tubular organs.


Superficial (external)/Deep (internal)

toward or at the body surface/away from the body surface. These terms locate body organs according to their relative closeness to the body surface. Ex: The skin is superficial to the skeletal muscles, and the lungs are deep to the rib cage.


Sagittal Plane

A sagittal plane runs longitudinally and divides the body into right and left parts. If it divides the body into equal parts, right down the midline of the body, it is called a median, or midsagittal, plane.


Frontal Plane

Sometimes called a coronal plane, the frontal plane is a longitudinal plane that divides the body (or and organ) into anterior and posterior parts.


Transverse Plan

A transverse plane runs horizontally, dividing the body into superior and inferior parts. When organs are sectioned along the transverse plane, the sections are commonly called cross sections.


Dorsal Body Cavity

The dorsal body cavity can be subdivided into the cranial cavity, which contains the brain within the rigid skull, and the vertebral (or spinal) cavity, within which the delicate spinal cord is protected by the bony vertebral column. Because the spinal cord is a continuation of the brain, these cavities are continuous with each other.


Ventral Body Cavity

the ventral body cavity is subdivided. the superior thoracic cavity is separated from the rest of the ventral cavity by the dome shaped diaphragm. The heart and lungs, located in the thoracic cavity, are protected by the bony rib cage. the cavity inferior to the diaphragm is often referred to as the abdominopelvic cavity


Abdominal Cavity

The area that houses the stomach, intestines, liver, and other organs


Pelvic Cavity

Inferior to abdominal cavity, is partially enclosed by the bony pelvis and contains the reproductive organs, bladder, and rectum.


serosa or serous membrane

The walls of the ventral body cavity and the outer surfaces of the organs it contains are covered with this exceedingly thin double layered membrane


Parietal serosa

The part of the membrane lining the cavity walls


Visceral serosa

covers the external surface of the organs within the cavity. These membranes produce a thin lubricating fluid that allows the visceral organs to slide over one another or to rub against the body wall with minimal friction.



The serosa lining the abdominal cavity and covering its organs.



The serous membranes surrounding the lungs



The serous membranes surrounding the heart