Directional Terms

  1. Anterior (ventral)
    • The front; before
    • Example: The naval is on the anterior (ventral) surface of the trunk
  2. Ventral (anterior)
    The belly side (equivalent to anterior when referring to the human body)
  3. Posterior (dorsal)
    • The back; behind
    • Example: The shoulder blade is locted posterior (dorsal) to the rib cage.
  4. Dorsal (posterior)
    The back (equivalent to posterior when referring to the human body)
  5. Superior
    • Above; at a higher level (in the human body, toward the head)
    • Example: The nose is superior to the chin
  6. Inferior
    • Below; at a lower level
    • Example: The knees are inferior to the hips
  7. Proximal
    • Toward an attached base
    • Example: The thigh is proximal to the foot: moving proximally from the wrist brings you to the elbow.
  8. Distal
    • away from an attached base
    • Example: the fingers are distal to the wrist: moving distally from the elbow brings you to the wrist.
  9. Medial
    • toward the bodys longitudinal axis
    • Example: The medical surfaces of the thighs may be in contact: moving medially from the arm across the chest surface brings you to the sternum.
  10. Lateral
    • away from the bodys longitudinal axis
    • Example: The thigh articulates with the lateral surface of the pelvis; moving laterally from the nose brings you to the eyes.
  11. Deep
    • farther from the body surface
    • Example: The bone of the thigh is deep to the surrounding skeletal muscles.
  12. Superficial
    • at, near, or relatively close to the body surface
    • Example: The scalp is superficial to the skull
Card Set
Directional Terms
Region or Reference, Example