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Spatial Orientation Terms for Anatomy

For learning and review of spatial orientation terms.

Study the list of terms on this page (or in your coursepack) then test your mastery by playing the matching or flash card activities

AB
superiortoward the head
inferiortoward the feet or tailbone
anteriorbefore, toward the front; ventral
posteriorbehind, toward the back; dorsal
medialnearer to median plane
lateralaway from, farther from median plane
medianan imaginary plane dividing body into right and left sides
proximalcloser to the body
distalfarther from the body
parietalhaving to do with the wall of a body cavity
visceralrelated to organs within the body cavity
ipsilateralon the same side as a reference point
contralateralon the other side from a reference point
centralnear or toward the center
peripheralaround the outside; away from the center
oradmoving in the gut toward the mouth
aboradmoving in the gut toward the anus
superficialof the surface or topmost layer
intermediatebetween superficial and deep
deepfarther away from the surface of the body or organ


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Michigan State University

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