Basic Terms - anatomy


divides your left from your right


front from your back


Divides body into upper and lower parts


front of the body


belly side


back of the body


toward the back


toward the head


Lower on the body, farther from the head




closer to the buttocks

human anatomy

the study of the structure of the human body

Human Physiology

the study of the functions of the human body

sagittal plane

divides body into left and right

midsagittal plane

divides the body into equal right and left sides

body erect

Palms, Arms, and Hands face forward

Standard Anatomical Position

Body erect, feet slightly apart, palms facing forward with thumbs pointing away from body


toward the midline


away from the midline


Closer to the point of attachment (trunk)


away from the point of attachment (trunk)


near the surface


Away from the body surface; more internal


between a more medial and a more lateral structure

cranal cavity

contains the brain

spinal cavity

contains the spinal cord

anterior body cavity

consists of the thoracic, abdominal, and pelvic cavities; protects the internal organs; also called ventral body cavity

thoracic cavity

contains heart and lungs

abdominopelvic cavity

abdominal cavity and pelvic cavity

pelvic cavity

Contains urinary bladder, reproductive organs, and rectum

oral cavity


nasal cavity


orbital cavity


middle ear cavity

contains bones (ossicles) that transmit sound vibrations

Integrumentary system

layer of skin that helps protect you, get ride of waste, and control body temperature

skeletal system

consists of bones, cartilages, ligaments.supports the body, provides framework for organs, creates blood cells

Muscular System

consists of cardiac, smooth, and skeletal muscles that pumps the heart, moves material in the digestive system, and moves the body

nervous system

consists of your brain, spinal cord, nerves and sensory receptors which receives sensory inputs that helps with directing body movements, include memory, emotions, and cognition

special sensory

eyes, ears, organs of smell and taste; enables vision, hearing, smell, and taste

endocrine system

made of the endocrine glands, which secrete hormones that regulate processes such as growth, reproduction, and nutrient use (metabolism) by body cells.

respiratory system

consists of the heart and blood vessels which transports oxygen and nutrients to the body's cells and gets ride of waste products

lympathic system

consists of lymphatic vessels and nodes that help return the body fluids to the bloodstream

digestive system

made up of the esophagus, stomach, and intestines which aids in breaking down food to allow the body to absorb nutrients

urinary system

consists of the kidney and bladder to help remove nitrogen-containing wastes out of the body

reproductive system

consists of the testes, scrotum, and penis for males, while females consist of the ovaries, uterus, and vagina. Which allows for the production of offspring

postive feedback

Feedback that tends to magnify a process or increase its output.

negative feedback

A primary mechanism of homeostasis, whereby a change in a physiological variable that is being monitored triggers a response that counteracts the initial fluctuation.


maintains a steady internal environment


sensor monitors the environment and responds to change stimuli

control center

receives an input and determines if it's an acceptable range


the output response to the stimuli

homeostatic imbalance

organ systems have a diminished ability to keep the body's internal environment within the normal range