A Brief Word on Cross-Sectional Anatomy

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Anatomical cross-sections present a two-dimensional snapshot of human anatomy (see the halves of a coronal section bordering this page). Individual muscles, organs, or bones cannot be seen in their entirety.

When looking at individual sections, it's helpful to visualize how the anatomy will appear ahead of and behind the section shown. This exercise will help develop your ability to visualize organ systems and associated aspects including higher order concepts such as blood supply, lymphatic drainage and innervation.

Anatomy Learning Exercise

Even if you barely remember where the liver is, or what an adrenal gland does, you probably know something about the brain - it's general location, shape and appearance. The next page presents a series of animations to introduce the three planes of sectioning. As an introduction to following three-dimensional structures through two-dimensional anatomical sections, observe the path of the brain in each of the animations.

Next: Planes of Sectioning