Monday, February 11, 2013

Relative Directional Terms of the Body in Anatomical Terminology


Some of the directional terms of the body are defined as follows:
                                    Term               
Definition and Example
Superior (cranial)        


Inferior (caudal)


Anterior (ventral)


Posterior (dorsal)


Medial


Lateral


Proxima



Distal



Superficial


Deep


Peripheral
Toward the head.
e.g.: The leg is superior to the foot.

Toward the feet or tail region.
e.g.: The foot is inferior to the leg.

Toward the front of the body.
e.g.: The nose is anterior to the ears.

Toward the back of the body.
e.g.: The ears are posterior to the nose.

Toward the midline of the body.
e.g.: The nose is medial to the eyes.

Away from the midline of the body.
e.g.: The eyes are lateral to the nose.

Toward (nearer) the trunk of the body or the attached end of a limb.
e.g.: The shoulder is proximal to the wrist.

Away (farther) from the trunk of the body or the attached end of a limb.
e.g.: The wrist is distal to the forearm.

Nearer the surface of the body.
e.g.: The ribs are more superficial than the heart.

Farther from the surface of the body.
e.g.: The heart is deeper than the ribs.

Away from the central axis of the body.
e.g.: Peripheral nerves radiate away from the brain and spinal cord.

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