Session Objectives

  • Understand the different branches of anatomy.
  • Learn the language and terminology used in anatomy.

Connecting to the BIG Picture

Well, to put it in the simplest way possible studying anatomy is like laying the foundation to a building project.

'The deeper it goes; the more stability it will offer'.

Anatomy is the basis of all streams of medical science and allied science. Read the article below for more.


Human anatomy refers to the study of the human body.

Origin of the word - 'Anatome' is a greek word that means 'Cutting up'.

(ana=up ; tome=cutting)

Visual 1.1 Branches of Anatomy


NOTE: Every single structure in the human body is studied keeping in mindits normal anatomical position.

  • The term 'normal anatomical position' will be repeatedly taught to you during your study of anatomy.
  • The interactive activity below is designed to help you better understand the anatomical position of the human body. Click on the hotspots to get the description.
Activity 1.1


Now that you are familiar with the normal anatomical position of the human body let us study the other positions.

  1. Supine position: In the supine position the subject lies flat with the face and torso facing upwards. The arms are by the side of the body and lower limbs are extended.
  2. Visual 1.9a Supine position Source link
  3. Prone position: This position is the opposite of the supine position. Here the subject lies flat but on his stomach with face either facing downwards or sideways.
  4. Visual 1.9b Prone position Source link
  5. Lithotomy position: this is a modified form of the supine position. The subject lies flat on his back with face directed upwards, lower limbs flexed and supported on stirrups to spread the thighs. This position is commonly used in the inspection of the pelvic area and for childbirth.
  6. Visual 1.10 Lithotomy position


  • A plane is a hypothetical line that divides the body to describe its structures.
  • The video below will walk you through the three main planes used in anatomy.
Visual 1.11 Anatomical planes
Activity 1.2

Recall the video you just saw to answer the questions below.

In this activity match column A with the right answers in column B.

Visual 1.12 Body planes match the following Source link

Match column A with the right answers in column B

Coloumn A Coloumn B




Activity 1.3

Here are three statements about anatomical planes. Determine if these statements are true or false.


The language of anatomy is literally filled with greek and latin words that may initially be hard to understand and memorize. However, repeated use of these terms will help you get a stronger grip of the language as you go deeper.

The terminology can be studied under two headings

  1. Directional terms
  2. Movement terms

The videos below will help you get a clear picture.


  • These terms help us describe one anatomical structure in relation to another.
Visual 1.13 to 1.17


  • These terms are used to describe movements of body parts.
  • In this video you will study a few of the movements that are most commonly seen in our daily activities.
  • Other movements of the joints will be studied further in the sessions to follow.
Visual 1.18
Activity 1.4

Take a shot at the quiz below to determine how much of the above segment you have understood

Activity 1.5
Visual 1.24 planes match the following

Observe A and B sections in the above video. Now answer the following questions.

Q1. What movement is occurring in the shoulder joint in section A?


End of Session

Leave your valuable feedback

Title Description Citation
History of anatomy Human anatomy goes back thousands of years. Various paintings on the walls of caves during the stones ages suggests that man has been studying the human body by cutting it open longer than we think.
However, modern anatomy made its way into science only much later.
Source link

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