Skip Nav

Directional terms and body planes

Related posts

❶The terms "left" and "right" are sometimes used, or their Latin alternatives Latin: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

Continue your learning

Directional Terms in Human Anatomy
Anatomy Directional Terms
Major Regions of the Head, Neck, and Trunk

Kim Bengochea, Regis University, Denver. Anatomical directional terms and body planes represent a universally accepted language of anatomy, allowing precise communication between anatomists and health professionals. The terms used to explain anatomical positioning are described in relation to one standard position called the anatomical position. This position is used to describe body parts and positions of patients regardless if they are lying down, on their side or facing down.

In the anatomical position, the person is standing upright with arms to the side with the palms facing forward and thumbs pointing away from the body, feet slightly apart and parallel to each other with the toes pointing forward and the head facing forward and the eyes looking straight ahead.

Ventral denotes towards the front of the body and dorsal means towards the back of the body. Distal indicates that it is away or farthest away from the trunk of the body or the point of origin of the body part. Proximal means that it is closest or towards the trunk of the body or point of origin. Median or midline is an imaginary line down the middle of the body that splits the body into equal left and right parts.

Medial is towards the median whereas lateral is away from the median and towards the side of the body. Sometimes known as superficial, external denotes towards the surface. Internal is also known as deep and denotes that it is away from the body surface. Frontal refers towards the front of the brain whereas occipital means towards the back of the brain. Body planes are imaginary planes or flat surfaces that cut through and section the body in its anatomical position.

The coronal plane is a vertical plane that divides the body into anterior front and posterior back parts. The sagittal plane is also a vertical plane that splits the body into left and right parts. A sagittal plane that runs directly through the midline is also called the midsagittal plane or median plane.

The transverse plane is a horizontal plane. It divides the body into superior upper and inferior lower portions. In anatomy, they are also referred to as a cross section. Learning anatomy is a massive undertaking, and we're here to help you pass with flying colours. Directional Terms and Body Planes - want to learn more about it? Sign up for your free Kenhub account today and join over , successful anatomy students.

Create your free account. Directional terms and body planes. Locating structures in your body is one of the main components of anatomy. Learn all terms used to describe location in the Human body. Superficial Closer to the body surface The skin is superficial to the muscles. Deep Farther from the body surface The bones are deep to the muscles. Arches of the Foot.

Joseph H Volker T Dont have an account? We care about your data, and we'd love to use cookies to make your experience better. The aorta is ventral to the vertebral column. Toward the back or spine. The vertebral column is dorsal to the aorta. The sternum is anterior to the heart. The esophagus is posterior to the trachea. Toward the head or superior end. The cephalic end of the embryonic neural tube develops into the brain. Toward the forehead or nose. The forebrain is rostral to the brainstem.

Toward the tail or inferior end. The spinal cord is caudal to the brain. The heart is superior to the diaphragm. The liver is inferior to the diaphragm. Toward the median plane. The heart is medial to the lungs. Away from the median plane. The eyes are lateral to the nose. Closer to the point of attachment or origin.

The elbow is proximal to the wrist.

Body Planes

Main Topics

Privacy Policy

DIRECTIONAL TERMS FOR ANATOMY AND PHYSIOLOGY 1 Anatomy- DIRECTIONAL TERMS study guide by dawnroberts includes 13 questions covering vocabulary, terms and more. Quizlet flashcards, activities and games help you improve your grades.

Privacy FAQs

If the anatomical position is placed face-down, it is in the prone position. If the anatomical position is placed face-up, it is in the supine position. Up, Down, Side-to-Side: Directional Terms. Imagine that when you’re studying a (correctly anatomically positioned) body you’re looking at a map.

About Our Ads

Anatomical directional terms are like the directions on a compass rose of a map. Like the directions, North, South, East and West, they can be used to describe the locations of structures in relation to other structures or locations in the body. Anatomical position is always the default and all directional terms and body positions are spoken in terms of anatomical position so that medical personnel are in synch.

Cookie Info

Directional terms and body planes Locating structures in your body is one of the main components of anatomy. Learn all terms used to describe location in the Human body. Directional Terms Distal-farther from trunk Proximal-closer to trunk Lateral-away from midline Medial-closer to midline Anterior-front side in Posterior-back side in anatomical position anatomical position (ventral) (dorsal) Superior-closer to head Inferior-farther from head (cranial) (caudal).