Palomar College

Physiological

Psychology

Dept of Behavioral Sciences

 

 

 

Roger N. Morrissette, PhD

 


Anatomical Orientation


Objectives: 

          By the end of this laboratory you should be able to do the following:


     Todayís laboratory offers an introduction to the terminology used in general anatomy and neuroanatomy.  This is considered a foundation laboratory in that the terms you learn during this session will be applied throughout the remainder of the semester.  This laboratory is about learning the language of physiological psychology.  The brain is a complex place but as long as we understand how to read the road map we can all maneuver around with ease.  Since the orientation terminology offers several choices and since different professionals use one or another term specifically in their preparations, it is imperative that you learn all of the terminology so as to be prepared for a specific usage that you may encounter. This laboratory is short and offers plenty of time to learn this new terminology.  These terms are very important and I will be using them during the class lectures so you should make them part of your vocabulary as soon as possible. There are three laboratory exercises that you must complete satisfactorily before finishing the lab. Study well because these terms could make it to your first quiz or examination.  Good luck.

 


Define and use anatomical terms used to denote a body partís location and relative position.


     The first thing you need to understand about orientation terminology is that because of the different anatomical positions in a 2-legged animal compared to a 4-legged animal, the orientation terms are somewhat different.   Letís first identify the fundamental terms used and then discuss the differences between 2-legged and 4-legged animals.


General Orientation Terminology:


 

Superior: towards the upper side                     Inferior: towards the lower side

 

Anterior: towards the front                               Posterior: towards the back

 

Medial: towards the middle                              Lateral: away from the middle

 

Cranial: towards the head end

 

Rostral: towards the head end                          Caudal: towards the tail end

 

Dorsal: towards the back                                  Ventral: towards the belly

 

Central: the center of a spheroid organ           Peripheral: along the outside of that organ

 

Superficial: towards the surface                        Deep: away from the surface

 

Proximal: close to a point of reference              Distal: away from a point of reference

Ipsilateral: same side of the midline                   Contralateral: opposite side of the midline


     As is shown in the figure below, because of the different orientation of 2-legged and 4-legged animals, the terminology used to describe location is different.  

     Notice how the relationship between the terms Dorsal-Ventral and Anterior-Posterior changes when we go from a 4-legged animal to a 2-legged animal.  The following page displays the acceptable use of terminology when referring to the entire separated brain and spinal cord.  It should be immediately apparent that there are many options to choose from. You will find that specific laboratories or authors tend to favor certain terminology over others.  This is why you must become familiar with all possible descriptive options.  We will be using these terms in this regard throughout the semester.


Lab Exercise 1: Using Orientation Terminology for 2-legged creatures.


     Break up into groups of 2.  After studying the directional terms above, I want you to write a complete sentence describing the orientation of your partnerís body parts both internal and external for all 19 of the terms described on the previous page.  Each of you must write out your own list. Be creative but keep it professional.  Always describe one body part relative to another.  For example: Arnoldís nose is medial to his ears.

1. superior             ________________________________________________________________________________.

2. inferior               ________________________________________________________________________________.

3. anterior              ________________________________________________________________________________.

4. posterior            ________________________________________________________________________________.

5. medial                 ________________________________________________________________________________.

6. lateral                 ________________________________________________________________________________.

7. cranial                ________________________________________________________________________________.

8. rostral                 ________________________________________________________________________________.

9. caudal                ________________________________________________________________________________.

10. dorsal               _______________________________________________________________________________.

11. ventral              _______________________________________________________________________________.

12. central              _______________________________________________________________________________.

13. peripheral        _______________________________________________________________________________.

14. superficial        _______________________________________________________________________________.

15. deep                 _______________________________________________________________________________.

16. proximal           _______________________________________________________________________________.

17. distal                _______________________________________________________________________________.

18. ipsilateral         _______________________________________________________________________________.

19. contralateral    _______________________________________________________________________________.

 


Lab Exercise 2: Using Orientation Terminology with 4-legged creatures.


     Follow the guidelines for Exercise 1 but this time write a complete sentence describing the orientation of any 4-legged creatures body parts both internal and external for all 19 of the terms described on the previous page.  As in the previous exercise, always describe one body part relative to another.  Be creative and use a minimum of 5 different 4-legged animals.

1. superior             ________________________________________________________________________________.

2. inferior               ________________________________________________________________________________.

3. anterior              ________________________________________________________________________________.

4. posterior            ________________________________________________________________________________.

5. medial                 ________________________________________________________________________________.

6. lateral                 ________________________________________________________________________________.

7. cranial                ________________________________________________________________________________.

8. rostral                 ________________________________________________________________________________.

9. caudal                ________________________________________________________________________________.

10. dorsal               _______________________________________________________________________________.

11. ventral              _______________________________________________________________________________.

12. central              _______________________________________________________________________________.

13. peripheral        _______________________________________________________________________________.

14. superficial        _______________________________________________________________________________.

15. deep                 _______________________________________________________________________________.

16. proximal           _______________________________________________________________________________.

17. distal                _______________________________________________________________________________.

18. ipsilateral         _______________________________________________________________________________.

19. contralateral    _______________________________________________________________________________.


 Define and use anatomical planes of reference.


     A section or plane is a cut through the entire body, individual organ, or tissue of an animal. These cuts can be done non-invasively with advanced imaging technology or invasively with surgical tools.  The use of whole body, organ, and tissue sectioning has been very useful for the study of whole body anatomy and the neuroanatomy of the brain and spinal cord.  We will be referring to these sectioning techniques throughout the semester. The figure below demonstrates the whole body sections of a 4-legged animal.  Make sure to notice the subtle differences in choice of sectional terminology.


Section or Plane Terminology:


Transverse (Cross-Section or Horizontal) Plane:  a section at right angles to the longitudinal axis of the body or organ. This section divides the 4-legged animal into anterior and posterior regions and the 2-legged animal into superior and inferior regions.

 

Sagittal Section or Plane: a section or cut through the midline (midsagittal cut) or parallel to the midline (parasagittal cut). This cut divides the body into right and left sections.

 

Coronal or Frontal Section or Plane:  This plane is parallel to the longitudinal axis separating a 4-legged animal into superior and inferior regions and a 2-legged animal into anterior and posterior regions.

 

                               


Identify the body cavity divisions and subdivisions.


     Body cavities organize the internal organs.  The two main body cavities are the dorsal body cavity and the ventral body cavity.  Within the dorsal body cavity lies the cranial cavity and the spinal cavity.  Within the ventral cavity lies the thoracic cavity and the abdominal cavity. The thoracic cavity is further divided into the pleural cavities, the mediastinal cavity, and the pericardial cavity.  The abdominal cavity is further divided into the abdominal cavity proper and the pelvic cavity.  The figures below, demonstrate these cavities and the organs housed in each.  A list and description of each is also given.

 

 

 

 

Dorsal Body Cavity: cavity along the backside of the animal

    Cranial Cavity: formed by the skull and contains the brain

    Spinal Cavity: formed by the vertebrae and contains the spinal cord

 

Ventral Body Cavity: cavity along the belly region

     Thoracic Cavity: located above the diaphragm contains the chest organs

         Pleural Cavities: surrounds both lungs individually

           Mediastinal Cavity: cavity between the lungs contains the heart, trachea, esophagus and thymus gland

           Pericardial Cavity: surrounds the heart

 

      Abdominal Cavity: cavity below the diaphragm contains the viscera

          Abdominal Cavity: contains the stomach, spleen, liver, gallbladder, pancreas, small and large intestines

          Pelvic Cavity: contains the urinary bladder, sigmoid colon, rectum and internal reproductive organs


Define and use fundamental neurobiology terminology.


     The following terms are commonly used when studying neurobiology.  Please familiarize yourself with their definitions and usage as soon as possible.  I will be using these terms during the class lectures and laboratories throughout the semester.


Fundamental Terminology


encephalon:                        the brain

gyri (gyrus):                        the ridges, hills, or bumps of the cerebral cortex

sulci (sulcus):                      the creases, valleys, or furrows of the cerebral cortex

 

nucleus:                              a distinct homologous group of cells in the CNS

ganglia:                               a distinct homologous group of cells in the PNS

 

nerves:                                a bundle of like axons in the PNS

fibers:                                  a bundle of like axons in the CNS

tract:                                    a bundle of fibers  in the CNS connecting two areas or nuclei

bundle:                                 a bundle of fibers  in the CNS connecting two areas or nuclei

fasciculus:                            a bundle of fibers  in the CNS connecting two areas or nuclei

lemniscus:                            a bundle of fibers  in the CNS connecting two areas or nuclei

 

arborization:                         tree-like branching of dendrites

bifurcation:                           dendritic or axonal splitting as a ďYĒ

 

innervation:                          neuronal contact of one cell to another forming a synapse

synaptogenesis:                   the onset and formation of synapses


Lab Exercise 3: Using all of this valuable information


1. Match the terms on the right with the definitions on the left.

 

_____ A longitudinal cut, dividing body into right and left sides.                                             1. Cranial cavity

_____ The belly or underside.                                                                                                          2. Coronal Section

_____ Cavity containing the brain.                                                                                                  3. Posterior

_____ Transverse cut dividing the human body into superior and inferior.                            4. Lateral               

_____ Space between the membranes that surrounds the heart.                                               5. Pericardial Cavity

_____ Term meaning on the outside of an organ.                                                                         6. Sagittal Section

_____ Longitudinal cut dividing human body into posterior and anterior parts.                    7. Mediastinum

_____ Either away from or to the side of the mid-region.                                                            8. Ventral

_____ Cavity between the lungs.                                                                                                       9. Peripheral

_____ Rear end of a four-legged animal.                                                                                        10. Cross Section

 

 

2. In which specific body cavities would the following organs be found?

 

                a. Brain                                  ____________________

                b. Stomach                            ____________________

                c. Heart                                  ____________________

                d. Thymus Gland                  ____________________

                e. Spinal Cord                       ____________________

                f. Pancreas                             ____________________

                g. Lungs                                  ____________________

                h. Esophagus                        ____________________

                i. Uterus                                 ____________________

                j. Liver                                    ____________________

 

3. Fill in the correct term for location and position.

 

                a. The human head is ______________________________ to the neck.

                b. The cat head is _______________________________ to its neck.

                c. The human neck is _______________________________ to the head.

                d. The cat neck is _______________________________ to its head.

                e. The elbow is _______________________________ to the wrist.

                f. The eye is _______________________________ to the nose.

                g. The ankle is _______________________________ to the knee.

                h. The mouth is _______________________________ to the ears.

                i. The tail of the cat is _______________________________ to the trunk.

                j. The vertebral column of the cat is _______________________ and

                    _____________________ in position (use two different direction terms).

 

4. On the figure below, draw the following lines:

                a. A red line to indicate a transverse section.

                b. A blue line to indicate a midsagittal section.

                c. A green line to indicate a parasagittal section.

 

 


rmorrissette@palomar.edu