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Dorsal vs Ventral

Meaning and difference between the two directional terms dorsal and ventral.

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Hi there! It's Matt from Kenhub, and this tutorial will explain the words dorsal and ventral. These are two of the many terms used to describe locations on the human body. To understand these concepts, you must first know all terms relate to a human body in anatomical position. The concept of anatomical position refers to a standing body looking straight ahead, feet apart and pointing forward. Its arms are hanging down at both sides with palms facing forward. So, if you're describing a person who is laying down on their belly, you are still describing as if they were standing face front with palms forward.

Dorsal refers to the upper side or backside. The most obvious way to remember this is to think of a shark's dorsal fin. Ventral refers to the under or abdominal side. If you are looking at a ventral view of the body, it looks like this, and the dorsal view looks like this.

If you watched the distal and proximal video already, you remember that we talked about trying to describe the location of a tattoo over the phone. The terms dorsal or ventral would complete the mental picture of where the tattoo is located. It's on the proximal end of the left forearm on the ventral aspect.

It's important to remember that in anatomical position, the palms are facing forward. So, the palms of the hands are the ventral aspect of the hands and the back of the hand is the dorsal aspect.

Now that you just completed this video tutorial, then it’s time for you to continue your learning experience by testing and also applying your knowledge. There are three ways you can do so here at Kenhub. The first one is by clicking on our “start training” button, the second one is by browsing through our related articles library, and the third one is by checking out our atlas.

Now, good luck everyone, and I will see you next time.

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