Explore BrainMass

Human Anatomy and Physiology

Human anatomy and physiology refer to the study of the structure and functions of the human body. Anatomy specifically refers to the structure and relationships between body parts, while physiology refers to the function of the body parts and the body as a whole.  The discipline of anatomy can further be broken down to macroscopic (or gross) anatomy and microscopic anatomy. Macroscopic anatomy refers to the study of visible body parts, including those which can be seen when dissected. Microscopic anatomy refers to the study of structures at a microscopic level, including Histology – the study of tissues, Cytology – the study of cells, and Neurophysiology – the study of how the nervous system works.

Specific areas of study within anatomy and physiology include the:

  • Skeletal system
  • Muscular system
  • Cardiovascular system
  • Digestive system
  • Endocrine system
  • Nervous system
  • Respiratory system
  • Immune/lymphatic system
  • Urinary system
  • Reproductive system
  • Integumentary systems (an organ system consisting of the skin, hair, nails, and exocrine glands)

Methods for understanding the structure and functions of the human body have improved dramatically over the years. Beginning methods included the examination of animals and the through dissection of cadavers, to the use of X-rays, ultrasounds, and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI).

Image Credit: [Wikimedia Commons]  - Skeletal System


Image Credit: [Wikimedia Commons]  - Muscular System


Image Credit: [Wikimedia Commons]  - Endocrine System




Anatomy. (n.d.) Retrieved February 6, 2014 from Wikipedia the Free Encyclopedia:

Cliff Notes. (n.d.) What is Anatomy and Physiology? Retrieved from

Inner Body. (n.d.) Anatomy Systems. Retrieved from

Prescription Drugs in the Media

Every day, we are exposed to a tremendous amount of information about medications. Drug advertising is so common that many patients today have already self-diagnosed their symptoms by consulting "Dr. Google" and have already selected the medication they want based on the advertising they have seen. For this week's forum, take

Nervous System Assessment

Most of us go through a medical exam or physical on a routine basis in order to monitor our state of health and help identify problems early. A number of the tests performed during a routine physical test the function of the nervous system. For this week's forum, think about your routine physical exam and list the tests performe

Pathophysiology of Dry Skin

Select an article from a consumer magazine or newspaper (must have been written in the last 30 days, provide link) on a topic related to the health of the skin, hair, or nails - a component of the integumentary system. Provide a summary of the article as well as a discussion of the associated anatomy and physiology. Describe the

The Uses of Urinalysis

Use the information from this sheet as well as any other reliable sources available to answer the following questions. Urinalysis is the topic. You can tell a lot about someone from their urine! Since the days of ancient Greece, physicians have used the appearance, smell, and even taste of urine to diagnose disease. Nowadays,