Anatomy and Physiology Definitions

Abduction
Movement of a body part away from the midline of the body
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Action Potential
The electrical current (impulse) conducted along a nerve cell (neurone)
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Active Transport
Movement of substances across a cell membrane, up the concentration gradient, and requiring energy
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Acute
Of sudden onset
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Adaptation
Lessening of response by sensory receptors to prolonged stimulation
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Adduction
Movement of a body part towards the midline of the body
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Adipose Tissue
Fat tissue
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Aerobic
Requiring oxygen
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Afferent
Carrying or travelling towards an organ
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Afterload
The resistance of blood flow from the heart, determined mainly by the diameter of the arteries
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Agranulocyte
White blood cell with no granules in its cytoplasm (i.e. lymphocytes and monocytes)
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Alveolar Ventilation
The amount of air reaching the alveoli with each breath
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Alveolus
An air sac in the lungs; also the milk secreting sacs in the mammary glands
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Amino Acid
The building blocks of protein
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Anaerobic
Not requiring oxygen
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Anaphase
The third phase of mitosis
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Anatomical Position
Used to maintain consistency of anatomical descriptions - the body is upright, with the head facing forward, the arms at the sides with the palms of the hands facing forward, and the feet together
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Aneurysm
A weakness in the wall of an artery
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Anion
A negatively charged ion
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Anterior
Describes a body part nearer the front
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Antibody
Defensive protein synthesised by B-lymphocytes in response to the presence of an antigen
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Appendicular Skeleton
The shoulder girdle, upper limbs, pelvic girdle and lower limbs
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Arrhythmia
An abnormal heart rhythm
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Arteriole
A small artery
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Artery
A blood vessel that carries blood away from the heart
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Articulation
A joint
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Autoregulation
The ability of a tissue to independently control its own blood supply
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Autorhythmicity
The ability of a tissue to generate its own electrical signals
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Axial Skeleton
The skull, vertebral column, sternum (breastbone) and ribs
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Baroreceptor
Sensory receptor sensitive to pressure (stretch)
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Benign
Non-cancerous or a non-serious condition for which treatment may be required
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Bradycardia
Abnormally slow heart rate
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Bronchodilation
Widening of the larger airways and bronchioles
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Capillary
A tiny blood vessel between an arteriole and a venule, which has leaky walls to allow exchange of substances between the blood and tissues
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Carcinogen
A cancer-causing substance
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Carcinoma
A tumour arising from epithelial tissue
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Cardiac Output
The amount of blood ejected by one ventricle every minute: CO = heart rate x stroke volume
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Cation
A positively charged ion
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Central Nervous System
The brain and spinal cord
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Cerebrospinal Fluid
The fluid bathing the brain and spinal cord
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Chemoreceptor
A sensory receptor sensitive to chemical in solution
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Chondrocyte
Mature cartilage cell
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Chromatin
The uncoiled state of chromosomes during interphase
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Chronic
Long-standing or recurring
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Cilia
Microscopic cell extensions for moving materials through the lumen of a tube
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Coagulation
Blood clotting
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Concentration Gradient
Where two areas of liquid have different concentrations of solute
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Congenital
Inherited
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Cortex
The outer layer of a gland or structure
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Cytoplasm
Contains all the contents of a cell except the nucleus
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Diaphysis
The shaft of a long bone
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Diastole
Resting period of the heart or its individual chambers
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Diastolic Blood Pressure
The pressure recorded in the systemic circulation when the pressure is at its lowest, corresponding to the relaxation of the myocardium; the lower of the two measurements used to denote a blood pressure recording
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Diffusion
Movement of substances down a concentration gradient, which does not require energy or presence of a membrane
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Distal
Further from the origin of a body part or point of attachment of a limb
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Efferent
Carrying or travelling away from an organ
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Embolus
A blood clot or other substance that travels in a blood vessel and may lodge, blocking a smaller vessel
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Endocrine Gland
A ductless gland that secretes a hormone which travels to its target organ in the bloodstream
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Endothelium
Epithelium lining blood vessels
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Epidermis
The outermost layer of the skin
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Epiphysis
Each end of a long bone
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Epithelium
Tissue that lines and covers most body organs
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Erythropoiesis
Production of red blood cells
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Eversion
Turning the soles of the feet outwards
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Exocrine Gland
Gland that secretes its product into ducts for transport
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Exocytosis
Process by which particulate waste is expelled from a cell
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Extension
An increase in the angle between two bones, straightening a limb
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External Respiration
Exchange of gases in the lungs
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Extrinsic Pathway
Clotting process triggered by damaged extravascular tissues
69 of 190
Facilitated Diffusion
A form of diffusion that requires carrier proteins for transfer of substances across cell membranes
70 of 190
Fascia
Fibrous membrane that supports, covers and separates muscles
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Fertilisation
Penetration of an ovum by a spermatazoon to form a zygote that can grow into a fetus
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Fibrinolysis
The breakdown of a blood clot
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Fibroblast
Connective tissue cell that produces collagen fibres
74 of 190
Filtration
The movement of small molecules, by hydrostatic pressure, through a selectively permeable membrane
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Flagella
Long cell extensions used for cellular propulsion
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Flexion
The reducing of the angle between two bones; straightening a limb
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Follicle
A small secretory gland
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Gamete
An ovum or spermatazoon (reproductive cell)
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Glia
Nervous tissue that supports neurones
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Glucose
Simple sugar used by cells for energy
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Glycogen
Storage, very high molecular weight form of glucose
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Granulopoiesis
The production of white blood cells
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Haemopoiesis
The production of blood cells
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Haemorrhage
Profuse blood loss
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Hepatic
Of the liver
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Hilum
Indented area of an organ where blood vessels, nerves and ducts enter and leave
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Homeostasis
Maintenance of a stable internal environment
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Hormone
A substance secreted by an endocrine gland that is transported in the blood and acts on specific target cells elsewhere in the body
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Hydrophilic
Water loving
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Hydrophobic
Water hating
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Hydrostatic Pressure
The pressure exerted by a fluid on the walls of its container
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Hypoxia
Inadequate levels of oxygen in the tissues
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Iatrogenic
A condition resulting from a healthcare intervention
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Idiopathic
A condition of unknown cause
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Immunity
Body defence mechanisms against a specific disease
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Infarction
Death of a region of tissue due to interruption of its blood supply
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Inferior
Structure further from the head
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Inflammation
Non-specific tissue response to damage
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Insertion
Point of attachment of a muscle to a bone that moves most during muscle contraction
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Internal Respiration
Exchange of gases in the tissues
101 of 190
Interphase
Phase of the cell cycle when there is no division
102 of 190
Interstitial Fluid
Fluid situated between body cells, also known as tissue fluid
103 of 190
Intrinsic Pathway
Clotting process triggered by damaged blood vessels
104 of 190
Inversion
The turning of the soles of the feet to face each other
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Ion
A charged atom (which has either lost or acquired electrons)
106 of 190
Ionising Radiation
Radiation that generates ions when it passes through atoms; can damage cells by changing the atoms in the molecules that make up living tissue
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Ischaemia
Impaired blood supply to a body part
108 of 190
Lactation
Production of breast milk
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Lateral
Structure further from the midline of the body
110 of 190
Leukocyte
General term for a white blood cell
111 of 190
Ligament
Band of connective tissue that binds one bone to another
112 of 190
Lymph
Watery fluid drained by the lymphatic system from the tissue spaces
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Macrophage
A phagocytic cell usually found in connective tissue
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Malignant
Cancerous
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Medial
Structure that is nearer to the midline of the body
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Median Plane
An imaginary line that divides the body longitudinally into right and left halves
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Medulla
The inner layer of a gland or structure
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Meiosis
Process of cell division by which gametes are formed
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Menopause
Time of the female life span when reproductive function ceases
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Menstruation
Regular shedding of the uterine lining, usually monthly, during the reproductive period of the female life span
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Metaphase
Second phase of mitosis
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Metastasis
Secondary deposits from a primary malignant tumour
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Mitosis
Cell division giving two identical daughter cells
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Motor Neurone
An efferent nerve that carries impulses from the central nervous system to muscles or glands
125 of 190
Mucosa
Lining of body tracts (also mucous membrane)
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Necrosis
Cell death following loss of oxygen supply
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Negative Feedback
A physiological control mechanism that corrects deviations from a normal range
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Neoplasm
A new growth which may be benign or malignant
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Nephron
The structure in the kidneys responsible for the formation of urine
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Neuromuscular Junction
The synapse between a motor nerve and a skeletal muscle cell
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Neurone
Nerve cell
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Neurotransmitter
Chemical that transmits an impulse between one nerve and the next, or between a nerve and the neuromuscular junction
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Non-Specific Defence
The defence mechanisms of the body that are effective against different types of threat
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Oedema
Tissue swelling due to collection of fluid in the intercellular spaces
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Osteon
Structural unit of compact bone
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Osmoreceptors
Specialised sensory receptors sensitive to solute concentration
137 of 190
Osmosis
Movement of water down its concentration gradient across a semipermeable membrane
138 of 190
Osmotic Pressure
The pressure exerted by water in a solution
139 of 190
Ossicles
Bones of the middle ear: hammer, anvil and stirrup
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Ossification
The production of bone tissue
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Ovulation
The release of mature ovum from the ovary
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Parasympathetic Nervous System
Division of the autonomic nervous system that prepares the body for 'rest and repair'
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Parietal Layer
A layer of serous membrane lining a body cavity
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Passive Transport
Any form of transport within the body that does not require the use of energy
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Pathogen
Micro-organism capable of causing disease
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Peripheral Nervous System
Nervous tissue that is not part of the brain or spinal cord
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Phagocytosis
Defence mechanism by which body cells consume and destroy foreign materials
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Phospholipid
Fat based molecule containing phosphate, essential to the structure of the cell membrane
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Plasma
Clear, straw-coloured liquid portion of the blood
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Platelet (Thrombocyte)
Small cell fragments involved in blood clotting
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Positive Feedback
Physiological control mechanism that causes progressive deviation from normal limits; examples are limited, but include the progressive stimulation of the uterine muscle during childbirth
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Posterior
Lying to the back of the body
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Pressure Ulcer
Damage to superficial tissues caused by prolonged pressure and interrupted blood supply, usually over a bony prominence
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Prophase
First phase of mitosis
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Pronation
The turning of the palms to face backwards
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Proximal
Nearer the origin of a body part or point of attachment of a limb
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Puberty
The stage of life in males or females where reproductive maturity is achieved
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Pulmonary
Of the lungs
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Pulse Pressure
Diastolic blood pressure subtracted from the systolic value
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Receptor
A molecule, usually on the cell surface, that detects and responds to chemicals in the cell's external environment, e.g. a neurotransmitter. Also, a sensory nerve ending that detects physical changes in the local environment, e.g. a baroreceptor meas
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Renal
Of the kidneys
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Rotation
The movement of a body part around its long axis
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Rugae
Folds in the internal surface of a hollow organ when the organ is relaxed
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Sensory Neurone
An afferent nerve that carries impulses to the central nervous system
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Specific Defence Mechanism
Immunity; body's protective mechanisms raised against a specific threat or antigen
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Sphincter
Circle of muscle surrounding an internal passageway or orifice, used to regulate passage through the opening
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Spinal Reflex
Involuntary, usually protective, action controlled at the level of the spinal cord (i.e. independent of the brain)
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Stroke Volume
The volume of blood ejected by the ventricle when it contracts
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Superior
Towards the upper part of the body
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Supination
Turning the palm to face forwards
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Sympathetic Nervous System
Division of the autonomic nervous system that prepares the body for ‘fight or flight’
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Synapse
The junction between a nerve and the cell it supplies
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Systemic Circulation
The blood supply to all body organs except for the pulmonary arteries and veins
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Systole
Contraction period of the heart or its individual chambers
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Systolic Blood Pressure
The pressure recorded in the systemic circulation (often at the arm) when the pressure is at its highest, immediately following ventricular contraction; the higher of the two measurements used to denote a blood pressure recording
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Tachycardia
Abnormally fast heart rate
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Telophase
Fourth (final) phase of mitosis
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Thrombosis
The inappropriate, pathological formation of stationary blood clots within blood vessels
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Trophic Hormone
Hormone released that causes the release of a second hormone
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Tumour
Mass of cells growing outwith the body's normal control mechanisms
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Tunica Adventitia
The outer, supportive lining of blood vessels
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Tunica Intima
The lining of blood vessels (also called endothelium)
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Tunica Media
The middle layer of tissue in larger blood vessels
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Vasoconstriction
Decrease in diameter (narrowing) of a blood vessel
185 of 190
Vasodilation
Increase in diameter (widening) of a blood vessel
186 of 190
Vein
A blood vessel that carries blood towards the heart
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Venule
A small vein
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Visceral Layer
A layer of serous membrane covering a body organ
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Zygote
Fertilised egg formed by fusion of an ovum and spermatozoon
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Other cards in this set

Card 2

Front

The electrical current (impulse) conducted along a nerve cell (neurone)

Back

Action Potential

Card 3

Front

Movement of substances across a cell membrane, up the concentration gradient, and requiring energy

Back

Preview of the back of card 3

Card 4

Front

Of sudden onset

Back

Preview of the back of card 4

Card 5

Front

Lessening of response by sensory receptors to prolonged stimulation

Back

Preview of the back of card 5
View more cards

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