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study of structure and shape of the body and its parts and their relationships with one another

Gross Anatomy

study of large, easily observable structures

Microscopic Anatomy

study of body structures that are too small to be seen with the naked eye

Regional Anatomy

all the structures (muscles, bones, blood vessels, nerves, etc.) in particular region of the body, such as the abdomen or leg, are examined at the same time

Systematic Anatomy

body structure is studied system by system

Surface Anatomy

the study of internal structures as they relate to the overlying skin surface


concerns the function of the body, how body works


study of the cells of the body


the study of tissues

Developmental Anatomy

traces structural changes that occur in the body throughout the lifespan


a subdivision of developmental anatomy, concerns developmental changes that occur before birth

Renal Physiology

concerns kidney function and urine production


explains the workings of the nervous system

Cardiovascular Physiology

examines the operation of the heart and blood vessels

Levels of Structural Organization

1. Chemical Level: Atoms combine to form molecules
2. Cellular Level: Cells are made up of molecules
3. Tissue Level: Tissues consist of similar types of cells
4. Organ Level: Organs are made up of different types of tissues
5. Organ System Level: Organ systems consist of different organs that work together closely
6. Organism Level: Human organisms are made up of many organ systems

chemical level

tiny building blocks of matter, combine to form molecules such as water, sugar, and proteins


molecules are associated; the smallest units of all living things


consist of groups of similar cells that have a common function


a structure composed of two or more tissue types that performs a specific function for the body

Organ System

a group of organs that work together to accomplish a common purpose


the living body composed of all 11 organ systems; highest level of structural organization. represents the sum total of all structure levels working together to keep us alive.

Integumentary System

the external covering of the body, or the skin

Functions: waterproofs the body, protects deeper tissue, helps regulate body temperature

Skeletal System

consists of bones, cartilages, ligaments, and joints

Functions: supports the body, provides framework, causes movement

Muscular System

the muscles of the body; skeletal muscles for the muscular system

Functions: to contract or shorten, for movement to occur

Nervous System

the body's fast-acting control system. Consists of the brain, spinal cord, nerves, and sensory receptors

Functions: sensory receptors detect stimuli from outside and inside the body, and send these messages to the central nervous system (brain, spinal cord) so that it is informed about what is going on

Endocrine System

control body activities; endocrine glands produce chemical molecules called hormones and release them into the blood to travel to relatively distant target organs.

Cardiovascular System

the primary organs of this system are the heart and blood vessels

Functions: carries oxygen, nutrients, hormones, and other substances to and from the tissue cells where exchanges are made

Lymphatic System

complements that of the cardiovascular system

Functions: picks up fluid leaked from blood vessels and returns it to blood, houses white blood cells

Respiratory System

Role is to keep the body supplied with oxygen and to remove carbon dioxide

Digestive System

a tube running through the body from mouth to anus. Organs include oral cavity, esophagus, stomach, small and large intestine, and rectum.

Functions: break down food and deliver the products to the blood for dispersal to the body cells

Urinary System

removes the nitrogen containing wastes from the blood and flushes them from the body in urine. This system is composed of the kidneys, ureters, bladder, and urethra.

Other Functions: maintains body's water and salt (electrolyte) balance, and regulating the acid-base balance of the blood

Reproductive System

exists primarily to produce offspring.

Males: Testes produce sperm. Scrotum, penis, accessory glands, and the duct system

Females: Ovaries produce eggs. Consists of uterine tubes, uterus, and vagina


the body's ability to maintain relatively stable internal conditions even though the outside world changes continuously; dynamic state of Equilibrium


all homeostatic control mechanism are processes involving at least 3 components that work together

receptor, control center, effector


some type of sensor that monitors the environment and responds to changes called stimuli, by sending information (input) to the control center along the afferent pathway

Control Center

determines the set point, which is the level or range at which a variable is to be maintained, and information (output) then flows from the control center to the effector along the efferent pathway


provides the means for the control center's response (output) to the stimulus

Negative Feedback Mechanism

the output shuts off the original effect of the stimulus or reduces its intensity- goal: preventing sudden severe changes within body.
* (hormonal by endocrine system) control of blood volume by antidiuretic hormone. as blood volume drops, receptors in the body sense this change, and the hypothalamus of the brain stimulate the release of ADH to the blood. this change in turn prompts the kidneys to reabsorb more water and return it o the bloodstream. the rising blood volume then ends the stimulus for ADH release.

Positive Feedback Mechanism

the result or response enhances the original stimulus so that the response is accelerated. also called cascades because of the waterfall effect it has.

Homeostatic Imbalance

Disturbance of Homeostasis, when usual negative feedback mechanisms are overwhelmed and destructive positive feedback mechanisms take over. *heart failure

example of positive feedback

enhancement of labor contractions and blood clotting. Labor: as contractions increased more oxytocin released.

anatomical position

the body is erect with feel slightly apart, palms facing forward and the thumbs point away from the body.

directional terms

allows us to explain where one body structure is in relation to another. *lateral, superior, ventral(anterior), etc

axial and appendicular

the two fundamental divisions of our body.


main axis of body includes head, neck, trunk


upper limbs, lower limbs

dorsal body cavity

which protects the fragile nervous system organs, divided by cranial cavity and vertebral cavity

ventral cavity

houses internal organs (viscera), thoracic and abdominopelvic cavity

principle of complementary of structure and function

what a structure can do depends on its specific form.
* bones can support and protect body organs because they contain hard mineral deposits.

Necessary life functions

maintaining boundaries, movement, responsiveness, irritability, digestion, metabolism, reproduction, and growth.

maintaining its boundaries

so that its internal environment remains distinct from the external environment surrounding it.


activities promoted by the muscular system, on the cellular level the muscle's cells ability to move by shortening is more precisely called contractility


ability to sense changes (in the stimuli) in the environment and then respond to them.
*if you cut your hand on broken glass, a withdrawal reflex occurs-you involuntarily pull your hand away from the painful stimulus.


it the breaking of ingested foodstuffs to simple molecules that can be absorbed into the blood. the nutrient-rich blood is then distributed to all body cells by the cardiovascular system.


"state of change" is broad term that includes all chemical reactions that occur within body cells and regulated by hormones secreted by endocrine system glands.


breaking down substances into simpler building blocks


synthesizing more complex cellular structures from simpler substances

cellular respiration

using nutrients and oxygen to produce ATP via-


is the process of removing wastes form body.


occurs at the cellular and organismal level. cells divide producing two identical daughter cells then maybe then used for body growth or repair.

survival needs

goal: is to maintain life. (nutrients, oxygen, water, normal body temperature, appropriate atmospheric pressure)


60-80% of body for body secretions and excretions. lose it by evaporation from the lungs and skin in body excretions


taken via diet. contain chemical substances for energy and cell building

normal body temperature

must be maintained. as it drops below the norm, metabolic reactions become slower and slower and finally stop. when it is too high, chemical reactions occur at a frantic pace and body proteins lose their characteristic shape and stop functioning.

atmospheric pressure

force that air exerts on the surface of the body. breathing and gas exchange in the lungs depends on it. at high altitudes atmospheric pressure is lower, and the air is thin, gas exchange may be inadequate to support cellular metabolism.

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