Asked by: Boukhiar Merino
medical health bone and joint conditions

What are the directional terms used in anatomy and physiology?

Last Updated: 21st January, 2020

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Anatomical Directional Terms
  • Anterior: In front of, front.
  • Posterior: After, behind, following, toward the rear.
  • Distal: Away from, farther from the origin.
  • Proximal: Near, closer to the origin.
  • Dorsal: Near the upper surface, toward the back.
  • Ventral: Toward the bottom, toward the belly.
  • Superior: Above, over.
  • Inferior: Below, under.

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Herein, what are the directional terms used in anatomy?

Directional Terms

  • Anterior (or ventral) Describes the front or direction toward the front of the body.
  • Posterior (or dorsal) Describes the back or direction toward the back of the body.
  • Superior (or cranial) describes a position above or higher than another part of the body proper.

Also, why do we use directional terminology in anatomy? Up, Down, Side-to-Side: Directional Terms Like you use the cardinal directions to explain the location of certain regions (north, northwest, southeast, etc.), you use directional terms to describe the regions of the body. Image captured in AR using Human Anatomy Atlas.

Also Know, what are the directional terms?

In general, directional terms are grouped in pairs of opposites based on the standard anatomical position. Superior and Inferior. The foot is inferior (below) to the knee. Anterior and Posterior. Anterior means toward the front (chest side) of the body, posterior means toward the back.

What is anatomical left and right?

Standard terms. When anatomists refer to the right and left of the body, it is in reference to the right and left of the subject, not the right and left of the observer. When observing a body in the anatomical position, the left of the body is on the observer's right, and vice versa.

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