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An Introduction to the Human Body. Chapter 1. Anatomy. Study of structure or morphology Study of relationships among structures Derived from the Greek words Anatome – to dissect Ana – apart Tomy - cut. Sub-divisions of Anatomy. Gross Anatomy (macroscopic) Study of large body parts

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An Introduction to the Human Body

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An Introduction to the Human Body

Chapter 1


  • Study of structure or morphology

  • Study of relationships among structures

  • Derived from the Greek words

    • Anatome – to dissect

    • Ana – apart

    • Tomy - cut

Sub-divisions of Anatomy

  • Gross Anatomy (macroscopic)

    • Study of large body parts

      (muscles, bones and internal organs)

Sub-divisions of Anatomy

  • Histology (microscopic)

    • Study of cells and tissues requiring the use of a microscope


  • The study of functions of body parts (what they do) and how they work

    • Physio – working

    • Ology - study

Sub-divisions of Physiology

  • Neurophysiology - brain and nervous tissue

  • Cardiac physiology – heart

  • Respiratory – lungs, trachea, bronchii

  • Reproductive – reproductive organs

  • Renal – kidneys, bladder, ureters

  • Endocrine – hormone producing glands

Levels of Structural Organization

  • Atoms

  • Molecules

  • Organelles

  • Cells

  • Tissues

  • Organs

  • Systems

  • Organism


  • Building blocks of all matter

  • Atoms important to life:

    • Carbon

    • Oxygen

    • Hydrogen

    • Nitrogen

    • Phosphorus

    • Sulfur

    • Potassium

    • Calcium

    • Iron

Levels of Structural Organization

  • Molecules

    • Chemical combinations of 2 or more atoms

  • Examples of important molecules for life

    • Proteins

    • Carbohydrates

    • Fats

    • Nucleic acids

    • Vitamins



Levels of Structural OrganizationOrganelles are specialized structures within cells

Levels of Structural OrganizationCell

  • Cells are the basic structural units of life

  • Different cells have different structures

  • They perform different functions

  • Specialized structures within cells are organelles

Levels of Structural Organization

  • Tissues

    • Four basic types of tissues

      • Epithelial

      • Muscle

      • Connective

      • Nervous

  • Each cell within a tissue has a specific funtion

    • For example, parietal cells in the stomach epithelium produce HCl, goblet cells produce mucous and chief cells produce a digestive enzyme called pepsin

Levels of Structural Organization

Epithelial Tissue

Muscle Tissue

Connective Tissue

Nervous Tissue


  • Structures composed of two or more tissue types

  • Have specific functions in the body

  • Have specific and recognizable shapes

  • Examples: heart, lungs, brain, kidneys, liver, stomach, spleen

Organ Systems

  • Several organs working together for a common purpose

  • Example: digestive system includes many organs such as stomach, liver, etc.. Ecah with its own function

Characteristics of Life

Characteristics of Life

  • Movement

  • Responsiveness

  • Growth

  • Reproduction

  • Respiration

  • Digestion

  • Absorption

  • Circulation

  • Assimilation

  • Excretion

Characteristics of Life

  • Movement

    • Ability to propel oneself

    • Manipulates external environment

    • Occurs voluntarily by allowing movement of body fluids throughout the body

Characteristics of Life

  • Responsiveness

    • Ability to respond to stimuli

    • Examples: organism moves away from danger or moves toward prey

Characteristics of Life

  • Growth

    • Increases in size, volume and number of cells

    • Cell construction must exceed cell destruction

Characteristics of Life

  • Reproduction (sexual or asexual)

    • Give rise to a progeny/off spring/ new organism

    • Cells must be able to reproduce to aid body in growth and repair

Characteristics of Life

  • Respiration

    • Process of making ATP (energy) through the metabolism of nutrients

    • Oxygen is taken up

    • Carbon dioxide is released

Characteristics of Life

  • Digestion

    • Enables body to break down foods into simpler forms to be absorbed into blood for delivery to cells

Characteristics of Life

  • Absorption

    • Passage of digested materials into blood stream, through membranes of the digestive tract.

Characteristics of Life

  • Circulation

    • Movement of substances throughout the body

    • Substances travel via blood, lymph and other body fluids

Characteristics of Life

  • Assimilation

    • Includes breaking down complex to simple

    • Involves the digestive, respiratory, circulatory and lymphatic system

Characteristics of Life

  • Excretion

    • Removal of wastes after digestion and metabolism

    • Examples: CO2, fecal matter, urine,

Maintenance of Life

Survival Needs of an Organism

  • Nutrients

    • Carbohydrates

    • Proteins

    • Fats

    • Vitamins

Survival Needs of an Organism

  • Oxygen

    • Used for metabolism and other chemical reactions

    • 20% of the air we breathe

  • Water

    • 60 – 80% of body weight

    • Most abundant chemical substance in body – must be regulated

Survival Needs of an Organism

  • Body Temperature

    • 37° C or 98.6° F

    • As body temperature drops, so does metabolic rate (but if outside temperature drops, body up regulates metabolism to produce more heat)

  • Atmospheric Pressure

    • External force of the atmosphere on the body


  • The body’s ability to maintain a constant and stable internal environment

    • Sweating when hot

    • Insulin when blood sugar is high/glucagon when it is low

    • Kidneys maintain water levels in body

Body Systems

Body Systems

  • Integumentary

  • Skeletal

  • Muscular

  • Nervous

  • Endocrine

  • Cardiovascular

  • Lymphatic and Immune

  • Respiratory

  • Digestive

  • Urinary

  • Reproductive


  • Skin and structures such as hair, nails, and sweat and oil glands

  • Functions:

    • Maintenance of body temperature

    • Protection

    • Elimination of some wastes

    • Production of vitamin D

    • Stimuli receptor


  • All bones, associated cartilage, ligaments and joints

  • Functions:

    • Support

    • Protection

    • Movement

    • Blood cell production (hemopoiesis)

    • Mineral storage


  • Skeletal muscle tissue

  • Functions:

    • Movement

    • Maintains body posture

    • Produces heat


  • Brain, spinal cord, nerves, sensory receptors

  • Functions:

    • Body control by:

      • Detecting nerve impulses (action potential)

      • Interpreting changes

      • Acting upon changes


  • Includes all hormone producing glands, such as pituitary, thyroid, pancreas, ovaries, testes, etc.

  • Functions:

    • Controls body activities through the release of hormones into blood stream – these hormones target distant cells


  • Blood, heart, and blood vessels

  • Functions:

    • Distributes oxygen and nutrients to cells

    • Carries CO2 and wastes away from cells

    • Helps maintain acid-base balance

    • Protects against disease

    • Clot formation

    • Regulates body temperature

Lymphatic and Immune

  • Lymph, lymphatic vessels, and structure such as lymph nodes, tonsils, spleen, thymus gland

  • Functions:

    • Filter body fluids (interstitial)

    • Help protect against disease


  • Lungs and other passageways

  • Functions:

    • Supplies O2

    • Eliminates CO2

    • Helps regulate acid-base balance

    • Produces vocal sounds


  • Associated organs: salivary glands, liver, pancreas, and G.I tract

  • Functions:

    • Physical and chemical breakdown of foods

    • Absorption of nutrients

    • Eliminates solid materials


  • Kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, urethra

  • Functions:

    • Regulates volume and chemical composition of blood

    • Eliminates wastes

    • Regulated fluid and electrolyte balance

    • Regulates acid-base and calcium balance

    • Regulates red blood cell production (hormone- erythropoietin)


  • Testes, ovaries, Fallopian tubes (oviducts), uterus, epididymus, vas deferens, penis, vagina

  • Functions:

    • Production of gametes (sex cells)

    • Combining of gametes from different organism

    • Gestation and birth of offspring

Organization of the Human Body

Body Segments

  • The human body is divided into 2 distinct segments:

    • The axial portion which comprises of the head, neck and trunk

    • The appendicular portion which comprises of the upper limbs (arms) and lower limbs (legs)

Axial vs. Appendicular

Body Cavities

  • The axial portion contains 2 cavities or hollow area

    • The dorsal cavity which is made up of:

      • Cranial cavity – contains brain

      • vertebral cavity – passes through the vertebrae and contains spinal cord

    • The Ventral cavity which is further divided into:

      • The thoracic cavity, separated by the mediastinum – contains heart, lungs

      • The abdominopelvic cavity which contains:

        • The abdominal cavity – contains digestive organs

        • The pelvic cavity – contains gonads, bladder, rectum

Body Cavities

The thoracic cavity is divided into 2 sides by the mediastinum. The lungs are in the 2 pleural cavities and the heart is in the pericardial cavity within the mediastinum

The thoracic cavity is separated from the abdominal cavity by the diaphragm

Anatomical Positions

Anatomical Position

  • Body erect

  • Feet together

  • Arms hanging at side

  • Palms facing forward

Directional Terms

  • Superior

  • Inferior

  • Anterior

  • Posterior

  • Medial

  • Lateral

  • Intermediate

  • proximal

  • Ipsilateral

  • Contralateral

  • Distal

  • Superficial

  • Deep

  • Parietal

  • visceral


  • Towards the head

  • Upper part of the structure

  • Above

  • Examples:

    • Forehead is superior to the nose

    • Lips are superior to the chin

    • Heart is superior to the liver


  • Away from the head

  • Towards the lower region of structure or body

  • Examples:

    • The navel is inferior to the ribs

    • The knee is inferior to the hip

    • The stomach is inferior to the lungs


  • Towards the front

  • In front of

  • Examples:

    • The breast bone is anterior to the spine

    • The incisors are anterior to the molars

    • The sternum is anterior to the heart


  • Toward or at the back

  • Behind

  • Examples:

    • The heart is posterior to the sternum

    • The molars are posterior to the incisors

    • The esophagus is posterior to the trachea


  • Towards the midline

  • The inner side of a structure

  • Examples:

    • The head is medial to the arm

    • The ulna is on the medial side of the arm (anatomical position)


  • Away from the midline

  • Towards the side

  • Examples:

    • The eyes are lateral to the bridge of the nose

    • The lungs are lateral to the heart


  • Between a more medial and more lateral structure

  • Examples:

    • The collar bone is intermediate to the breast bone and the shoulder

    • The ring finger is intermediate to the pinky and middle finger


  • Close to a point of origin or point of attachment

  • Sides next to each other

  • Examples:

    • The elbow is proximal to the wrist (i.e. the elbow is closer to the shoulder than is the wrist)

    • The humerus is proximal to the radius


  • On the same side of the body

  • Examples:

    • The right ring finger is ipsilateral to the right middle and index fingers


  • On the opposite side of the body

  • Example:

    • The ascending and descending colons of the large intestines are contralateral


  • Farthest from the origin

  • Examples:

    • The knee is distal to the thigh

    • The wrist is distal to the shoulder

    • The phalanges are distal to the carpels (wrist bones)


  • Towards the surface

  • Examples:

    • The skin is superficial to the skeleton

    • Muscles of the thoracic wall are superficial to the lungs


  • More internal

  • Examples:

    • The heart is deep in relation to the skin

    • Nasal sinuses are deep in relation to the nose


  • Pertaining to the outer wall of a body cavity

  • Examples:

    • The parietal pleura forms the outer layer of the pleural sacs that surround the lungs


  • Pertaining to the covering of an organ within the ventral body cavity

  • Examples:

    • The visceral pleura forms the inner layer of the pleural sacs and covers the external surface of the lungs

Body Planes

Body Planes

  • Imaginary lines used to divide the body into sections

    • Sagittal

    • Mid-sagittal

    • Frontal

    • Transverse

    • Oblique


  • Vertical plane

  • Lengthwise

  • Longitudinal

  • Divides the body into right and left portions


  • Midline

  • Divides the body into equal right and left portions


  • Right angles to the sagittal plane

  • Divides the body into anterior and posterior portions


  • Divides the body into superior and inferior portions


  • An oblique plane passes at an angle between transverse and frontal planes or transverse and Sagittal planes

Body Planes


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