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Chapter 3. METHODS AND TERMINOLOGY OF ANATOMY Various approaches are used in the study of anatomy, but the one that is most useful when function or physiology is studied concurrently is systematic anatomy. This is the study of the various organ groups or systems of the body. Traditionally, each organ system is studied as a unit, and then the parts are brought together for a deeper understanding of the structure and function of the whole animal. For convenience, the body is considered as consisting of 11 major systems: Skeletal, Muscular, Vascular, Digestive, Respiratory, Urinary, Reproductive, Nervous, Endocrine, Common integument (skin), and Special senses. Each of these systems is functionally related to the others, and it is artificial to select one of them for study in isolation. The nervous, endocrine, integument, and special senses systems are considered to be integrating systems, study of which gives the student opportunity to draw everything together, to appreciate the whole. Many texts depend very heavily on an anatomic approach to structure and function; in a sense they present an anatomist's views of physiology. The emphasis is placed on what is known with certainty, or the anatomic facts, and function is grafted onto this framework. The approach taken in this book is just the reverse. Emphasis is placed on phenomena and mechanisms of function, with input from anatomy only to the extent needed to understand function. As such, factual detail is deemphasized somewhat, in favor of analysis and interpretation. Several of the body systems listed above will be combined in this treatment. An anatomic overview will be presented, but a detailed anatomic analysis will be avoided. A. Terminology Before we start to consider the structure of the body parts, an adequate vocabulary is needed to aid in description, location, and form. There is a voluminous terminology 2007 version – page 21
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already in use in the discipline of anatomy. It is also complex because of frequent
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