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Regions of the head and neck

Learning objectives

After completing this study unit, you will be able to:

  1. Name and identify the main regions of the head and neck
  2. Define the borders of each region.
  3. List the main landmarks related to each region. 

Watch videos

The head can be divided into fourteen regions, eight of which belong to the face. Like the skull, these regions can be grouped into either a neurocranial or a viscerocranial portion.

  • The neurocranial portion contains the frontal, parietal, occipital, temporal, auricular and mastoid regions.
  • The viscerocranial portion contains the regions of the face, which are the orbital, infraorbital, nasal, zygomatic, parotideomasseteric, oral, buccal and mental regions.

The neck is divided into four main regions: anterior, sternocleidomastoid, lateral and posterior. Each region is determined by their positioning relative to the sternocleidomastoid (SCM) and trapezius muscles, with some regions further divided into subregions or subtriangles.

To find out more about these regions, their borders and contents, watch the videos down below!

Take a quiz

To test what you've learned by watching the video, take the following quizzes and consolidate your knowledge!

Try out our custom quiz to get a broader quiz on general terminology of the body.

Browse atlas

Review the major regions of the scalp and face in the following atlas gallery. Take the time to compare the location and boundaries of each region relative to their neighbors.

Review the regions and subregions of the neck in the following atlas gallery.


Key points about the regions of the scalp and face
Neurocranial group Frontal region: Frontal bone
Parietal region
: Parietal bone
Occipital region
: Occipital bone
Temporal region
: Temporal bone
Auricular region: External ear
Mastoid region: Mastoid process of temporal bone
Viscerocranial group Orbital region: Bones and soft tissue of the orbit
Infraorbital region
: Body of maxilla
Nasal region: Bones and soft tissue of the nose
Zygomatic region
: Zygomatic bone
Parotideomasseteric region
: Parotid gland and masseter muscle
Oral region: Structures of the oral cavity
Buccal region
: Buccinator muscle
Key points about the regions of the neck
Anterior cervical region (anterior triangle of neck) - Submental triangle
- Submandibular triangle
- Carotid triangle
- Muscular triangle
Sternocleidomastoid region - Lesser supraclavicular fossa
Lateral cervical region (posterior triangle of neck) - Omoclavicular triangle (greater supraclavicular fossa)
- Occipital triangle
Posterior cervical region - Suboccipital region or triangle

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