Coronal Section - head/sinuses

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Module Name: 1704_head
Module Title: Coronal Section - head/sinuses
Image Info: Coronal section (1704) Visible Human Project
Created by: Lynn Bry
Date: January 23rd, 1997.


Key points: tongue | eye | nasal turbinates | maxillary sinus | frontal sinus | frontal lobe | olfactory_bulb |

Introduction: This coronal section cuts through the anterior region of the face. The frontal and maxillary air sinuses are readily seen within the bones of the cranium. Note the location of the frontal lobe of the brain with respect to the surrounding frontal air sinues.

The nasal turbinates lie in the midline of the face. Beneath the nasal region, the tongue resides within the mouth. Note the shape of the tongue, particularly the teardrop shaped area which connects it to the inside of the jaw (mandible).


digastric_muscles: The digastric muscles form part of the muscular floor of the mouth. They help control the movement of the tongue, and are involved in swallowing.

buccinator: The buccinator muscle forms part of the wall of the 'cheeks.'

depressor_muscles: The depressor angularis oris, and depressor labii inferioris draw the corners of the mouth down when frowning.

eye: This section cuts through the bluish vitreous humor of the eye. This thick gelatinous substance gives the eye its shape.

fashia: Fatty and connective tissue lies beneath the skin of the face.

frontal_lobe: The frontal lobe of the brain (cerebrum) carries out many functions of higher consciousness. It is the largest of the cerebral lobes, and is concerned with higher thought processes including reasoning and abstract thinking. It is also involved in speech and language processing, smell (olfaction) and the initiation of voluntary movements.

frontal_sinus: The frontal air sinuses lie within the frontal bone of the forehead. The sinuses connect with the nasal passageways, and are involved in warming and moistening air destined for the lungs. Eating ice cream and other frozen foods rapidly cools the air in the frontal sinuses, triggering pain receptors, and producing that 'brain freeze' feeling. Approximate 3% of the population lacks frontal air sinuses.

mandible: The mandible is the jaw bone.

maxilla: The maxilla comprises most of the bony part of the face in between the cheek bones (zygomatic bones), including the hard palate within the mouth. The maxillary sinuses reside within the maxilla.

maxillary_sinus: The maxillary sinuses reside within the maxillary bone of the face. These air sinuses connect to the nasal tubinates within the nose, and are part of the air system involved in warming and moistening inspired air. Infections of the sinuses (sinusitis) are common during cold and allergy seasons.

nasal_turbinates: Note the highly twisted shape of the nasal turbinates. These thin bony projections are covered by an epithelial lining. The twisted passageways assist with the warming and moistening of air destined for the lungs. Connections to the maxillary and frontal air sinuses can be found within the turbinates.

olfactory_bulb: The olfactory bulb is part of the first cranial nerve. Its endings lie over the top of the nose, penetrating a thin bone called the cribriform plate. The epithelium over this bone contains special receptors. A layer of secreted mucus keeps the epithlium moist, and allows the diffusion of volatile compounds in the air to reach the receptors. When triggered, we have the sensation of smell.

The olfactory bulb is a special nerve in that it never leaves the protective membranes (meninges) surrounding the brain. The optic nerve of the eye is the only other nerve with a similar structure.

tongue: The tongue (glossus) is unique muscle in that it only attached at one end (unlike other muscles in which both ends are attached to bone). The single attachments gives the tongue greater mobility to assist with the mechanical breakdown of food, swallowing, and speech. A specialized epithlium covers the anterior portion of the tongue. The rough surface contains the taste buds.

zygomatic_bone: The zygomatic bones form the cheeks and lateral/inferior aspect of the eye socket (orbit).

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