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Anatomy & Physiology. The Human Body: An Orientation. Introduction:. Anatomy : the study of structure and shape of the body (and its parts) and their relationship to each other. Physiology : ( physio = nature; ology = study of) the study of the function of the body and its parts.

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Anatomy physiology

Anatomy & Physiology

The Human Body: An Orientation


  • Anatomy: the study of structure and shape of the body (and its parts) and their relationship to each other.

  • Physiology: (physio= nature; ology= study of) the study of the function of the body and its parts.

  • These compliment each other and allow us to study the body’s structures and functions.

Levels of structural organization of humans
Levels of Structural Organization (of Humans):

  • Atoms (building blocks of matter; combine to make molecules)

  • Cells (smallest unit of life)

  • Tissues (groups of similar cells performing a common function)

  • Organs (groups of tissues working together for a specific function)

  • Organ Systems (groups of organs working collectively for a greater good)

  • Organism

Levels of Structural Organization (of Humans):

Organ system overview
Organ System Overview:

  • Integumentary System: skin; provides protection, waterproofing, and cushioning; excretes waste; regulates temperate; contains temperature, pain & pressure receptors.

  • Skeletal System: bones, cartilage, ligaments, & joints. Provides framework and supports body; with muscles, allows movement; protects organs; forms blood cells; stores minerals

  • Muscular System: Muscles.Movement and transport substances throughout the body

  • Nervous System: Brain, spinal cord, nerves, & receptors. Respond to stimuli and activate muscles or glands.

  • Endocrine System: Glands (pituitary, thyroid, parathyroid, adrenals, pancreas, thymus, ovaries, testes, & pineal) and hormones. Regulate bodily functions such as growth, metabolism, and reproduction.

  • Lymphatic System: Lymph Nodes, Lymph Vessels, Tonsils, Thymus, Appendix, & Spleen. Clean blood of impurities; help with immunity.

  • Respiratory System: Nasal passages  pharynx  larynx  trachea  bronchi  lungs.Functions in gas exchange.

  • Digestive System: Mouth  esophagus  stomach  small then large intestine  rectum; accessory organs include liver, gallbladder, and pancreas. Functions in breaking down food into nutrients for the absorption into the blood.

  • Urinary System: Kidneys, ureters, bladder, & urethra. Functions in filtering nitrogenous waste from the blood (creates urea), maintains body’s water and salt balance, regulates body’s blood pressure, and acid-base balance.

  • Reproductive System: Function is to produce offspring. Male includes testis, penis, and duct system; female includes ovaries, uterus, and duct system.

Maintaining life
Maintaining Life:

There are 8 characteristics that maintain, or enable, life.

  • Maintaining boundaries: separation of life from outside environment (from a cell membrane to skin)

  • Movement: internal & external

  • Responsiveness: sense the environment and react to it accordingly

  • Digestion: break down food

  • Metabolism: all chemical reactions within the body: decomposition (break down) and synthesis (build up)

  • Excretion: removal of wastes

  • Reproduction: produce more like self (this can occur on the cellular level for growth, maintenance, and repair)

  • Growth: increase in size

Survival needs
Survival Needs:

There are 5 survival needs, or requirements for life:

  • Nutrients: food

  • Oxygen: needed to break down food (releases energy from food)

  • Water: transports, regulates, & needed for chemical reactions (most abundant chemical in our bodies)

  • Normal Body Temperature: determines rate of reactions

  • Atmospheric Pressure: force exerted on body by weight of air (enables gas exchange)


  • Homeostasis is the body’s ability to maintain a stable internal environment (temp., bp).

  • Homeo = same; stasis = stand still

  • There are 2 types of control: Negative & Positive Feedback Mechanisms.

The language of anatomy
The Language of Anatomy:

  • Superior:above, or toward the head (cranial)

  • Inferior: below, or away from the head (caudal)

  • Ventral: front of the body (anterior)

  • Dorsal: backside (behind) of the body (posterior)

  • Medial:middle

  • Lateral: outer side of body

  • Proximal: close to the origin point of attachment to a limb

  • Distal: farther from the point of attachment to a limb

  • Superficial: surface

Body planes sections
Body Planes & Sections:

  • Sagittal Section: cutting the body lengthwise

  • Median (midsagittal) Section: sagittal section that is equal

  • Frontal Section: cutting the body into anterior and posterior parts.

  • Transverse Section: (a.k.a. cross section) cutting the body into superior & inferior sections

Median: Frontal: Transverse:

Body cavities
Body Cavities:

  • Dorsal Cavity:

    • Cranial Cavity: skull & brain

    • Spinal Cavity: spinal cord & backbone (vertebrate)

  • Ventral Cavity:

    • Thoracic Cavity: upper part of trunk

    • Abdominopelvic Cavity: lower trunk

  • The ventral cavity is separated by thediaphragm (thin muscle).

Ventral cavity
Ventral Cavity:

Thoracic Cavity:

  • The mediastinum separates the left & right sides (separates the lungs).

  • The viscera: lungs, heart, espohagus, trachea, & thymus gland(all except lungs are w/in mediastinum).

Abdominopelvic Cavity:

  • This is from the diaphragm to the pelvic floor.

    Contains 2 cavities:

  • Abdominal Cavity (below diaphragm): viscera:stomach, liver, spleen, kidneys, gall bladder, and small & large intestines (majority)

  • Pelvic Cavity (above diaphragm): viscera:large intestines (lower end), bladder, & reproductive organs

Nasal Cavity: nose, nasal septum & sinuses (frontal & sphenoidal)

Oral & Digestive Cavities:

teeth & tongue

Orbital Cavities: eyes, eye muscles, & nerves

Middle Ear Cavities:

middle ear bones