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Glossary of Basic Anatomy Vocab

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Superior (cranial or cephalad)
Toward the head end or upper part of a structure or the body; upper. (EX: The forehead is superior to the nose)
Inferior (caudal)
Away from the head end or toward the lower part of a structure or the body; below (EX: The naval in inferior to the breastbone)
Anterior (Ventral)
Toward or at the front of the body, in front of. (EX: The breastbone is anterior is anterior to the spine)
Posterior (Dorsal)
Toward or at the backside of the body; behind (EX: The heart is posterior to the breastbone)
Medial
Toward or at the midline of the body; on the inner side of. (EX: The heart is medial to the arm)
Lateral
Away from the midline of the body; on the outer side of (EX: The arms are lateral to the chest)
Intermediate
Between a more medial and a more lateral structure. (EX: The armpit is lateral intermediate between the breastbone and shoulder)
Proximal
Close to the origin of the body part or point of attachment of that limb (EX: The elbow is proximal to the wrist)
Distal
Farther from the origin of the body part or point of attachment of that limb (EX: The knee is distal to the thigh)
Superficial
Toward or at the body surface (EX: The skin is superficial to the skeleton)
Deep
Away from the body surface; more internal (EX: The lungs are deep to the rib cage)
Median (midsagittal)
A cut through the center of an object looking at it head on.
Frontal (coronal)
A cut through the center of an object from a profile view.
Tranverse plane
A cut through the the body, covering the least flesh.
Dorsal body cavity
The back portion of the body. Consisting of the cranial cavity and the spinal cavity.
Ventral cavity
The frontal cavity of the body, consisting the thoracic cavity and the Abdominopelvic cavity.

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