Introductory Anatomy and Physiology: Text & Lab Manual
Lead Author(s): Karen M. Chooljian, M.S.
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Interactive text and complete lab manual with active learning assignments and embedded questions for immediate student and instructor feedback.
Introduction, Terminology, and Organ Systems
Introduction to the Lab
Studying Anatomy and Physiology (A&P) involves a tremendous amount of memorization, but that is just the first step. As you move forward into your health-related careers, you need to take this knowledge and apply it by using critical thinking and problem solving. The lab should be used as your time to begin memorizing the terminology, structures, and concepts of A&P by using a variety of strategies, including establishing a study group.
Please be safe while in the lab! Many of the reagents and some of the equipment in a physiology laboratory are potentially dangerous. It is important for your protection that you follow the rules of laboratory safety and use common sense throughout the course. Learn the correct way to use chemicals and equipment and you will have a safe and profitable learning experience.
Read the experiments or exercises before coming to lab. Read all notes or cautions associated with the exercises. This will increase your understanding, enjoyment, and safety during the lab experiments. Completely follow the procedures set forth by the instructor or manual. If you have any questions about the procedures or safety be sure to check with your instructor before doing the experiment.
Before the first lab session:
1. Make sure you understand the definitions of anatomy and physiology.
Required materials for this lab:
Models: Human Torso, Muscular Figure, Small, and Muscular Figure, Life Size.
Charts: Thin Man or other anatomical charts of the Organ Systems.
Beakers, hot plates, ice, and water.
In this lab session we will do the following activities:
1. Identify and demonstrate anatomical terminology.
2. Identify body regions and directional terms.
3. Identify body cavities and membranes.
4. Identify planes of section.
5. Identify organ systems using the models in the lab.
6. Explain the concept of homeostasis, distinguish between negative and positive feedback mechanisms, and perform two brief experiments in homeostasis.
1.1 Anatomical Position
Anatomical position is the initial point of reference used by medical professionals and scientists to understand the terminology of anatomy. Figure 1.1 shows a male and female in anatomical position, the specific position that is used to describe the relationships of the body parts. The person stands with feet shoulder width apart with their arms at their sides, with palms of the hands and toes of the feet facing forward.
Which of the following descriptions of anatomical position is incorrect?
Toes point forward.
Arms are at the sides.
Feet are shoulder width apart.
Palms are turned so that the thumbs point outward.
All of the above are correct anatomical position.
Only A through C are correct anatomical position.
1.2 Body Regions and Directional Terminology
Regional terms are to identify specific areas on the body using surface anatomy (superficial anatomy, the study of the external features without dissection). The body is divided into five major regions: head, neck, trunk, upper limb, and lower limb. These are further subdivided into the regions in the following list and illustrated in Figure 1.2 below.
Missing from Figure 1.2 are terms you will need to know:
- Sternal (breastbone)
- Manual (hand)
- Femoral (thigh)
- Occipital (back and base of skull)
- Scapular (shoulder blade)
- Vertebral (spinal column)
ACTIVITY 1: Regions
Identify the regions on the following list on the models available in the lab:
Cephalic (head): cranium (skull), facial (face), frontal (forehead), orbital (eye area), nasal (nose area), buccal (cheek area), oral (mouth), mental (chin)
Trunk: further divided into three sections: thoracic (the area between the neck and abdomen that is surrounded by the ribs, sternum, and costal cartilages; chest), abdominal (the anterior portion of the trunk just inferior to the ribs; abdomen), and pelvic (portion of the trunk inferior to the abdomen and overlying the pelvis anteriorly)
Thoracic: sternal (breastbone area), axilla/axillary (armpit), pectoral (chest), mamma (breast)
Abdominal: umbilical (navel)
Pelvic: inguinal (area where thigh and trunk join; groin), pubic (anterior pelvis; genital region)
Upper LImb: acromial (point of shoulder), deltoid (curve of the shoulder; formed by the deltoid muscle), brachial (arm), antecubital (anterior surface of the elbow), antebrachial (forearm), carpal (wrist)
Hand: manus (hand), digital (fingers), palmar (palm), pollex (thumb)
Lower Limb: Coxal (hip), femoral (thigh), patellar (anterior surface of the knee), crural (leg), fibular (lateral part of leg), tarsal (ankle)
Foot: pedal (foot), digital (toes), dorsum (top of foot)
Posterior Landmarks (note many of the regions above apply here as well)
Cephalic (head): cranium (skull), occipital (base of skull)
Trunk: scapular (shoulder blade), vertebral (spinal column), lumbar (area of the back between the ribs and hips; the loin), sacral (area between the hips and the base of the spine), gluteal (buttock)
Upper Limb: olecranal or cubital (posterior surface of elbow)
Lower Limb: femoral (thigh), popliteal (posterior knee), sural (the posterior surface of the leg; calf), calcaneal (heel), plantar (sole of foot). Note the posterior figure below has the feet slightly raised in order to show the calcaneal and plantar regions.
Test yourself on the following figure and name each region:
Click on the left carpal region.
Click on the antecubital region.
Click on the left coxal region.
Click on the left gluteal region.
Directional terms are used to communicate locations of structures in relationship to other structures.
Table 1.1 Directional Terminology
Using Table 1.1, answer the following questions:
The sacral region is inferior to, but also (blank) to the vertebral region.
Match the statement on the left with the correct term on the right.
The sternum is to the heart.
The right foot is to the left hand.
The lungs are to the ribs.
Compared to the foot the knee is to the hip.
The thoracic region is to the sternum.
The knees are to the hips.
The nose is to the eyes.
The cranium is to the mental region.
The gluteal region is to the pelvic region.
The skin is to the muscles and skeleton.
1.3 Body Cavities and Membranes
The internal body cavities in which the organs of the body are found are called the dorsal (posterior) body cavity and the ventral (anterior) body cavity (see Figure 1.3). They are different in both embryological development and the membranes that line them, but they both protect and organize the organs within them.
The dorsal body cavity can be further divided into the cranial cavity and the vertebral cavity (canal). The cranial cavity contains the brain and is formed by the cranial bones. The vertebral cavity protects the spinal cord and if formed by the vertebral column, or backbone.
The ventral body cavity (also called the coelom) is much larger than the dorsal cavity and is divided into two major cavities, each of which contains smaller regions. The superior cavity is called the thoracic cavity, or chest cavity, and is separated from the rest of the ventral body cavity by the major muscle used in breathing, the diaphragm. The organs in the thoracic cavity have their own subdivisions: the right and left pleural (lung) cavities, the pericardial cavity surrounding the heart, and a central region called the mediastinum that contains the thymus, esophagus, trachea, large blood vessels, and in the lower portion the pericardial cavity.
Inferior to the diaphragm is the abdominopelvic cavity, extending to the inguinal region and protected by trunk muscles and the bones of the pelvis. As the name suggests, this cavity is also subdivided into two regions: the abdominal cavity and the pelvic cavity, though there is no actual anatomical structure to divide the space. The organs in these cavities are called the viscera. The abdominal cavity contains the stomach, spleen, liver, gallbladder, small intestine, and portions of the large intestine. The pelvic cavity contains the remaining portions of the large intestine, the urinary bladder, and the reproductive organs.
The ventral body cavities contain a thin, pliable membrane, called a serous membrane, that surrounds the moving organs and produces a watery fluid to allow almost frictionless movement. It covers the moving organs with the visceral layer and lines the cavities with a parietal layer. There is a potential space between them containing serous fluid, a watery substance secreted by the cells of the visceral and parietal layers that acts as a lubricant. The serous membrane surrounding the lungs is called the pleura and the right and left cavities surrounding the lungs are called the pleural cavities. The space surrounding the heart is the pericardial cavity with visceral and parietal pericardium. The abdominal cavity, also called the peritoneal cavity, contains the visceral and parietal peritoneum is the serous membrane of the abdominal cavity.
ACTIVITY 2: Body Cavities
Using the lab models, identify the body cavities and the organs within them from the following list. The numbers on the list are the numbers found on the models. If there is no number next to the organ, identify it anyway. Use the numbers as a guide, but there may be differences or mistakes. R = right, L = left.
Use the text as a guide or ask you instructor if you need assistance.
Dorsal body cavity:
- Spinal cord
- R Lung (299), L lung (308)
- Bronchi (232, 234)
- Trachea (230)
- Esophagus (245)
- Diaphragm (252)
- Diaphragm (314, 315)
- Liver (410, 412)
- Gall bladder (430)
- Pancreas (329)
- Spleen (338)
- Small intestine (duodenum 334, jejunum 433, ileum 434)
- Ileocecal valve (438)
- Large intestine
- Rectum (447)
- R Kidney (343), L kidney (340)
- R Adrenal gland (342), L adrenal (341)
- Ureter (363)
- Bladder (461)
- Descending aorta (318)
- Inferior vena cava (364)
Muscular Figure, Small
Dorsal body cavity:
- Spinal cord
- R Lung (2, 3, 4), L lung (7, 8)
- Bronchi (13a, 13b)
- Trachea (12)
- Esophagus (76)
- Diaphragm (75)
- Thymus gland (29a)
- Liver (90,91)
- Gall bladder (102)
- Stomach (78, 83, 84)
- Pancreas (112, 113, 114)
- Spleen (120)
- Small intestine (duodenum 107 &108, jejunum 125, ileum 126)
- Ileocecal valve (133)
- Large intestine
- R Kidney (138), L kidney
- R Adrenal gland (139), L adrenal
- Ureter (145)
- Descending aorta (137)
- Inferior vena cava (45)
Muscular Figure, Life Size
There is a full-size model in the laboratory, but the structures do not have numbered labels. You may use it to learn the same structures as those listed with Human Torso above. The more you familiarize yourself with the structures on any model, the faster you will learn!
Click on the letter or number indicating the pericardial cavity.
Match the serous membrane on the left with the organ on the right.
Abdominopelvic Quadrants and Regions
The organs in the abdominopelvic cavity are located in specific areas. In order to accurately define where they can be found, the cavity is partitioned into four quadrants and nine regions. If you make an imaginary line vertically and another horizontally intersecting at the umbilicus as seen on the right side of Figure 1.4, you end up with four approximately equal divisions of the cavity called the abdominopelvic quadrants. The names of these quadrants are the right upper quadrant (RUQ), left upper quadrant (LUQ), right lower quadrant (RLQ), and the left lower quadrant (LLQ). These quadrants are commonly used by clinicians to describe the sites of abdominal pain or other pathology. The system on the left of Figure 1.4 divides the cavity into nine abdominopelvic regions. The regions include:
Right hypochondriac: (chondro = cartilage, which refers to the cartilage of the ribs in this region), contains the liver, gallbladder, right kidney.
Epigastric: (epi = above or upon; gastric = stomach), contains the stomach, liver, and pancreas.
Left hypochondriac: contains the spleen, colon, left kidney, and pancreas.
Right lumbar: contains the right (ascending) colon, liver, and gallbladder.
Umbilical: contains the small intestine.
Left lumbar: contains the left (descending) colon, small intestine, and left kidney.
Right iliac: contains the cecum (connection between the small and large intestines) and appendix.
Hypogastric: contains the reproductive organs, sigmoid colon, and urinary bladder.
Left iliac: contains the descending and sigmoid colon.
Click on the Right Upper Quadrant (RUQ)
Click on the left hypochondriac region.
1.4 Planes of Section
A plane of section refers to an imaginary flat surface that passes through the body parts or organ, dividing it in to sections. There are four planes that pass through the body: frontal, transverse, sagittal, and oblique.
Frontal plane (blue in Figure 1.5). This vertical plane is parallel to the long axis and divides the body or an organ into anterior (ventral) and posterior (dorsal) portions. In the head, this plane is called the coronal plane.
Transverse plane (green in Figure 1.5). Also called the horizontal plane or cross-sectional plane, this divides the body or organ into superior (cranial, cephalic) and inferior (caudal) portions and is perpendicular to the long axis.
Sagittal plane (red and yellow in Figure 1.5). Sagitta means arrow in Latin. The sagittal plane is vertical, parallel to the long axis, and divides the body or organ into right and left sides, but because this can be done away from the midline, we have a specific term for dividing the body or organ into equal halves: the midsagittal plane (red). Any vertical plane that divides the body or organ into unequal right and left sides is called a parasagittal plane (yellow).
Oblique plane (not shown in Figure 1.5). The imaginary line for the three previous planes are at right angles to the organ or body, but this plane passes through structures at a slant and is neither perpendicular or parallel to any of the previous sections.
Microscopic sections. Please recognize that when you look through a microscope, you may see several planes of section within the field of view: cross-sectional (transverse), longitudinal (sagittal), and oblique.
ACTIVITY 3: Planes of Section
In a separate file or piece of paper, make your own copy of the following table and draw a body part. Then draw a line to indicate the section through it as indicated by the text above the box.
1.5 Organ Systems
Remember the levels of structural organization that make up the human body:
- biomolecular complexes
- organ systems
An organ system is a group of related organs that perform a common function. Below in Table 1.2 are the eleven organ systems that you will study during this course. For each system, we will determine which organs make up the system, how each organ is structurally adapted to perform its function, and how the tissues and cells of the organ are structurally and functionally different to allow the specialized functions. The key point to remember is that the relationship between structure and function occurs at each level of organization.
Table 1.2 Organ Systems
ACTIVITY 4: Organ Systems
Use Figures 1.6A and 1.6B to assist you in locating and identifying the major organs of the following systems in the models in the lab (do not worry about the details yet, just get the basic parts of the systems that are listed):
- Integument: skin, hair, nails
- Skeletal system: bones, joints
- Muscular system: skeletal muscles
- Nervous system: brain, spinal cord
- Endocrine system: hypothalamus, pituitary gland, thyroid gland, thymus, adrenal glands, pancreas, ovaries (female), testes (male)
- Cardiovascular system: heart, blood vessels
- Lymphatic system: spleen, thymus, lymph nodes
- Respiratory system: lungs, pharynx, larynx, trachea
- Digestive system: mouth, salivary glands, esophagus, stomach, small intestine, large intestine, liver, gallbladder, pancreas
- Urinary system: kidneys, ureters, urinary bladder, urethra
- Reproductive system, male: testis, penis, prostate gland, seminal vesicles, vas deferens
- Reproductive system, female: ovary, uterus, vagina, mammary glands
In a separate file or piece of paper, make your own copy of the following table using regional and directional terms to describe the location of the listed organs. Make sure to list the body cavity in which the organ is located.
Description of Location (use correct terminology)
Homeostasis is a central principle in physiology. It is the ability of an organism to maintain a constant internal environment even though there are changes in the external environment. The concept of homeostasis allows us to understand complex regulatory mechanisms in the body and gives us a normal framework from which we can analyze pathophysiology. Maintaining homeostasis usually involves more than one organ system and limitations exist to these regulatory mechanisms.
Homeostatic Control. The classic example of homeostatic control is the thermostat in a room. The event or factor being controlled is the variable, X (room temperature) which is maintained within a narrow limit around a set point (level or range, the temperature at which you have set the thermostat). A control or integrating center (the thermostat) analyzes the information received from sensors (temperature sensors) and determines a response, which is carried out by effectors (furnace or air conditioner).
Note that there are six critical elements for homeostasis to work properly: a sensor (1) to respond to a stimulus away from the normal condition, which is called a controlled condition or set point (2). This change needs to be communicated by an input signal (3) to send information to a control center (4). This control center integrates the input signals and provides a control signal (5) via nerve impulses or chemical signals to an effector (6), which is a body structure that can provide a response to the change away from the set point. This response either defends the set point by returning to it (negative feedback) or moves the controlled condition farther away from the set point (positive feedback). From the cellular to the organismal level, your body functions using these homeostatic mechanisms to maintain function.
Negative Feedback: using the example of the thermostat from above, if the temperature in the room goes above the set point, the air conditioner is activated by the control center. Cool air is produced and the temperature of the room is decreased. Once the temperature reaches the set point, the control center turns off the air conditioner. The cold air counteracts the original rise in temperature, so the control system is negative or opposite the change. Conversely, if the room temperature falls, the heater is turned on and this effector will again bring the room back to the set point (see Figure 1.7).
The body uses the same principles to achieve negative feedback loops. Negative feedback occurs when a change in a variable triggers a response that adjusts in the opposite direction of the initial change.
The body is in a state of dynamic constancy, which means that fluctuations constantly occur above or below a set point and the body responds, usually with negative feedback mechanisms (see Figure 1.8). The set point is just the average value of the range of the variable. The sensitivity of the negative feedback mechanism can be observed by measuring how much deviation from the set point occurs before a compensating response is activated, which is indicated by the normal range in Figures 1.7 above and 1.8 below. Control can be further refined by the addition of antagonistic effectors that have the opposite effect on the variable. Even more efficient control utilizes two sensors and two effectors. They are usually antagonistic to each other.
Positive Feedback: in this type of feedback loop, the response of the effectors to any change in the variable causes an amplification of the changes. In other words, a change causes the effectors to respond in the same direction as the change. The control center reinforces the changes until the stimulus stops.
ACTIVITY 5: Maintaining Homeostasis
You will be trying to maintain a beaker of water at a set temperature of 40oC using a hot plate and crushed ice. This is analogous to the negative feedback mechanisms in the human body, but in this case you are the sensor and integrating center, monitoring the temperature and making the adjustments. The hot plate and the crushed ice serve as antagonistic effectors, analogous to shivering (raises body temperature) and sweating (lowers body temperature).
Experiment 1: Maintaining a Set Point
If the temperature is below 37oC (note, body temperature is normally 37oC so your “patient” already has hypothermia) apply heat by placing the beaker on the hot plate with the temperature dial turned to the maximum setting. Be careful! If your water boils you have killed the patient! If the original temperature is above 40oC add ice; your “patient” has a fever.
Working in groups of three, use one of the following experimental protocols assigned to you by your laboratory instructor to try to achieve a temperature of 37oC in a beaker. Spend a few minutes achieving and maintaining a set point of 37oC (40oC may be easier to see on the thermometer) and note how easy/hard it is to keep the temperature at the set point if you add heat or ice. Play around with this a bit and note what happens with major versus minor changes. You will have 15 minutes to achieve and maintain homeostasis, after which you will discuss as a class what methods worked the best to reach and maintain the temperature.
1. All ice in beaker, use only the hot plate control to change temperature.
2. All hot water, use only the hot plate control to change temperature.
3. Tap water (room temperature), use hot plate control to change temperature.
4. Tap water (room temperature), use both ice and hot plate control to change temperature.
5. Use hot water and ice to start at 37o, use hot plate control to change temperature.
Speculate on how the human body actually copes with temperature changes: major or minor adjustments and why?
Experiment 2: Maintaining a Set Point in the Human Body
This experiment involves moving to a more sophisticated control system: your body! The negative feedback mechanisms are far more complex, but are controlled far more efficiently. For example, cardiac rate (your pulse rate) is maintained at a set point (normal adult rate is around 70 beats per minute), but can be sped up or slowed down by antagonistic effectors: the sympathetic nervous system (fight or flight) increases the rate and the parasympathetic nervous system (rest and digest) decreases cardiac rate.
Blood pressure influences the cardiac rate: a rise in blood pressure will be followed by a decrease in heart rate, while a decrease in blood pressure is followed by an increase in heart rate; we maintain homeostasis of blood pressure by controlling our heart rate with the sympathetic and parasympathetic controls to speed up or slow down cardiac rate. Your cardiac rate is kept in a state of dynamic constancy by these systems.
1. Sit in your laboratory chair. Find your radial pulse by pressing your index and middle fingers against the lateral aspect of your anterior wrist.
2. Count your pulse rate for 15 seconds and multiply by 4. This is your resting pulse rate per minute. Repeat this procedure 4 times, pausing at least 30 seconds between measurements. Record your data in the chart below.
3. Find your radial pulse again. Stand up while keeping your fingers pressed to the radial pulse and count your pulse rate for 15 seconds, sit down and count the beats per second for the following 15 seconds, then count for an addition 15 seconds. Repeat the procedure 4 times, recording your data in the chart below.
Resting Pulse Rate: Negative Feedback Control and Normal Range
x 4 =
x 4 =
x 4 =
x 4 =
x 4 =
x 4 =
x 4 =
x 4 =
Sitting (first 15 seconds)
x 4 =
x 4 =
x 4 =
x 4 =
Sitting (first 15 seconds)
x 4 =
x 4 =
x 4 =
x 4 =
Part 1: Anatomical Position
This is a famous drawing by Leonardo da Vinci entitled "Vitruvian Man." Are either one of these figures in anatomical position (yes or no)?
Part 2: Body Regions and Directional Terminology
Match the statement on the left with the accurate directional term on the right
The heart is (__) to the larynx.
The biceps brachii muscle is (__) to the integument.
The trachea is (__) to the esophagus.
The right carpus is (__) to the right pollex.
The left kidney is (__) to the stomach.
Part 3: Body Cavities and Membranes
Match the organ on the left with the correct body region on the right.
Ventral body cavity
Dorsal body cavity
Part 4: Planes of Section
Which letter is showing the transverse plane, A, C, S, or P?
Part 5: Organ Systems
Which organ system does the figure in the image belong to?
Match the organ system on the left with its function.
support and protection
protection and sensation
long term response to stimuli
exchange of gas
fast response to stimuli
water and electrolyte balance
Which of the following organs participates in more than one organ system?
Which of the following organ systems work together to regulate whole body functions?
cardiovascular and urinary
nervous and endocrine
cardiovascular and lymphatic
cardiovascular and endocrine
cardiovascular and nervous
Part 6: Homeostasis
Match the feedback component on the left with the function on the right.
determines the direction of change
responds to a physical or chemical stimulus
Effector (muscle or gland)
responds to a stimulus from a nerve
Which of the following organ systems does NOT participate in homeostasis?
All organ systems participate in homeostasis
The regulation of body temperature is an example of a positive feedback mechanism.
For both negative and positive feedback, a set point and normal range must be in place before a compensating response is activated.
When you eat salty food, you change the concentration of sodium and chloride in the extracellular fluid of your body. Because that effects the set point of water balance in your cells, you get thirsty and drink fluids. After you have finished drinking, you no longer feel thirsty. This is an example of which type of feedback?
Dynamic constancy requires antagonistic effectors, both of which defend the set point with negative feedback mechanisms.
Figure 1.1 Created by C.L. Chooljian in Adobe Photoshop CC.
Figure 1.2A K.M. Chooljian using Figure 1.2 with labels using PowerPoint.
Figure 1.5 Image courtesy of Richfield, David (2014). "Medical gallery of David Richfield". WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.009. ISSN 2002-4436 under GNU Free Documentation License via Wikimedia Commons.
Figure 1.7 Created by C.L. Chooljian in Adobe Photoshop CC.
Figure 1.8 Created by C.L. Chooljian in Adobe Photoshop CC.
Table 1.1 Created by C.L. Chooljian in Adobe Photoshop CC.
Table 1.2 Created by C.L. Chooljian in Adobe Photoshop CC.
Concept Review: Anatomical Position. Image in the public domain via Wikimedia Commons.
Concept Review: Planes of Section. Image courtesy of Richfield, David (2014). "Medical gallery of David Richfield". WikiJournal of Medicine 1 (2). DOI:10.15347/wjm/2014.009. ISSN 2002-4436 under CC BY-SA 4.0 via Wikimedia Commons.