For those of friend who have taken an A&P food (or space taking one ideal now), you understand that before you gain to learning about the body you should learn exactly how to talk about the body.

You are watching: Which of the following best describes the anatomical position?

Most A&P courses begin with positions and directionals. Ns going to provide you the rundown. If you want to learn about planes and also cavities, inspect out part two.

You can likewise download all this contents (and more!) in our free Planes & location eBook.

Position Is Everything: Anatomical Position

How many of you have used ours apps or at least seen the models and thought, “Boy, that body looks awfully stubborn in that one place all the time”?

Which, okay, is true. However there’s a factor our 3D body models (I affectionately call them Brenda and also Paul) watch stiff together a board—it’s the place in i m sorry we examine the body.

Anatomical position is the summary of any an ar or component of the human body in a specific stance. In the anatomical position, the body is upright, directly facing the observer, feet flat and also directed forward. The top limbs space at the body’s sides with the palms dealing with forward.

Like so:

Image caught in AR using person Anatomy Atlas.

You’ve more than likely seen all sorts of pictures of the body in her A&P textbooks the look favor this. In my college A&P text, appropriate there in the first few pages, every body mechanism was presented in anatomical position. This stance must be very familiar come you. If not, it will certainly be by the time you’re v your first two main of A&P.

If the anatomical place is placed face-down, that is in the prone position.

Image recorded in AR using person Anatomy Atlas.

If the anatomical place is inserted face-up, it is in the supine position.

Image captured in AR using human being Anatomy Atlas.

Up, Down, Side-to-Side: Directional Terms

Imagine that once you’re examining a (correctly anatomically positioned) human body you’re looking at a map. Like you use the cardinal directions to explain the ar of specific regions (north, northwest, southeast, etc.), you usage directional state to explain the areas of the body.

Here space some commonly used directional terms:


At or near the prior of the human body (front view)


At or close to the earlier of the body (back view)


An imaginary upright line the divides the body equally (right down the middle)


Farther indigenous midline (side view)


Nearer to midline (side view)


Toward the head/upper component of a structure (bird’s-eye view, spring down)


Away from the head/lower component of a framework (bottom view, spring up)


Close to the surface of the body


Away indigenous the surface ar of the body


Nearer come the origination that a structure


Farther indigenous the origination of a structure

In many instances, this terms can be paired. Because that example, a posterosuperior view combine the posterior and superior, providing us a watch in which we space looking under at the back of the body, prefer so:

Image caught in AR using person Anatomy Atlas.

With me therefore far? No? Okay, let’s carry out a practice one. Nothing be fear to refer to the chart before you answer.

Image recorded in AR using person Anatomy Atlas.

In the picture, This is a_____view?

A. AnteriorB. AnterosuperiorC. AnteroinferiorD. Inferior

If girlfriend answered B) anterosuperior, you right! Remember, the anterior is the front view and also the superior is the optimal view—combine the two and you’ve obtained yourself a bird’s-eye check out of the prior of the body.

And there you have actually it: a crash food in anatomical position and also directional terms.

Curious about planes and cavities? inspect out part two the this post!

This write-up was originally published in 2013. That has due to the fact that been update with new AR photos from human being Anatomy Atlas 2019.

Download ours Planes & positions lab task for human Anatomy Atlas here.

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