Week 1: Introduction to anatomical terminology

In the first anatomy session I spoke about the small group style of (hopefully) interactive teaching, the history of anatomy and the use of Latin and Greek words for parts of the human body, the aims of standardising anatomical nomenclature, and the importance of all this for communication and learning.
The learning outcome I spoke about regarded the definitions of the terms, “somatic”, “visceral” and “branchial”. “Somatic” refers to parts of the body under voluntary control, whereas “visceral” refers to the parts under involuntary control. I used the skeletal muscles as an example of somatic structures, and the kidneys as an example of visceral structures. We will meet somatic and visceral nerves later in the year.
We talked about the term “branchial” and it’s meaning of “gills”, and related this to the branchial arches of the embryo (now commonly called the “pharyngeal arches”) and the structures formed in the adult from these. We pointed out the similar words “brachial” and “bronchiole”, and noted the differences.
If you’d like to read a little more, follow these links:
Arnold’s Glossary of Anatomy
History of Anatomy (historyworld.net)
Science in the Middle Ages (long, well referenced Wikipedia page)
If you search the web for definitions for “somatic” and “visceral” you will probably find most of the definitions put forward by members of your anatomy group. Make note of their uses in everyday life, cell biology & anatomy.
For more about science and the ancient Greeks, including Hippocrates, have a read of these historyworld.net pages.