This edition: Introduction to Anatomy & Physiology
From the tiniest cells to the largest organ systems, the human body is a complex organism that is capable of both power and grace. When we think of a ballerina, we might conjure images of grace and fluidity. But such elegance relies upon the strength and power of the structures within the body. When we study the human body, we have to ask ourselves not only “How is it structured?” but also “Why does it work that way?” The human body’s form and function are both complementary and interrelated—they compromise in many ways. These are questions that you should ask yourself in every lesson—the relation between form and function is a central theme throughout this course.
As anatomists came to better understand the structure and function of the human body, they began to develop a common set of terminology. They developed a conventional way to view the body and divide it into portions so they could have a standard reference when observing, discussing, and drawing the human body. This common language enabled a better understanding of what the body looks like and how it functions, thus enabling medical practitioners to more effectively identify diseases, injuries,