Human Anatomy and Physiology is designed for the two-semester anatomy and physiology course taken by life science and allied health students. The textbook follows the scope and sequence of most Human Anatomy and Physiology courses, and its coverage and organization were informed by hundreds of instructors who teach the course. Instructors can customize the book, adapting it to the approach that works best in their classroom. The artwork for this textbook is aimed focusing student learning through a powerful blend of traditional depictions and instructional innovations. Color is used sparingly, to emphasize the most important aspects of any given illustration. Significant use of micrographs from the University of Michigan complement the illustrations, and provide the students with a meaningful alternate depiction of each concept. Finally, enrichment elements provide relevance and deeper context for students, particularly in the areas of health, disease, and information relevant to their intended careers.
Welcome to Human Anatomy and Physiology, an OpenStax College resource. We created this textbook with several goals in mind: accessibility, customization, and student engagement—helping students reach high levels of academic scholarship. Instructors and students alike will find that this textbook offers a thorough introduction to the content in an accessible format.
About OpenStax College
OpenStax College is a nonprofit organization committed to improving student access to quality learning materials. Our free textbooks are developed and peer-reviewed by educators to ensure that they are readable, accurate, and organized in accordance with the scope and sequence requirements of today’s college courses. Unlike traditional textbooks, OpenStax College resources live online and are owned by the community of educators using them. Through partnerships with companies and foundations committed to reducing costs for students, we are working to improve access to higher education for all. OpenStax College is an initiative of Rice University and is made possible through the generous support of several philanthropic foundations.
About OpenStax College’s Resources
OpenStax College resources provide quality academic instruction. Three key features set our materials apart from others: 1) They can be easily customized by instructors for each class, 2) they are “living” resources that grow online through contributions from science educators, and 3) they are available for free or for a minimal cost.
OpenStax College learning resources are conceived and written with flexibility in mind so that they can be customized for each course. Our textbooks provide a solid foundation on which instructors can build their own texts. Instructors can select the sections that are most relevant to their curricula and create a textbook that speaks directly to the needs of their students. Instructors are encouraged to expand on existing examples in the text by adding unique context via geographically localized applications and topical connections.
Human Anatomy and Physiology can be easily customized using our online platform (https://openstaxcollege.org/textbooks/anatomy-and-physiology/adapt). The text is arranged in a modular chapter format. Simply select the content most relevant to your syllabus and create a textbook that addresses the needs of your class. This customization feature will ensure that your textbook reflects the goals of your course.
To broaden access and encourage community curation, Human Anatomy and Physiology is “open source” under a Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license. Members of the scientific community are invited to submit examples, emerging research, and other feedback to enhance and strengthen the material, keeping it current and relevant for today’s students. Submit your suggestions to [email protected], and check in on edition status, alternate versions, errata, and news on the StaxDash at http://openstaxcollege.org.
Our textbooks are available for free online, and in low-cost print and tablet editions.
About Human Anatomy and Physiology
Human Anatomy and Physiology is designed for the two-semester anatomy and physiology course taken by life science and allied health students. It supports effective teaching and learning, and prepares students for further learning and future careers. The text focuses on the most important concepts and aims to minimize distracting students with more minor details.
The development choices for this textbook were made with the guidance of hundreds of faculty who are deeply involved in teaching this course. These choices led to innovations in art, terminology, career orientation, practical applications, and multimedia-based learning, all with a goal of increasing relevance to students. We strove to make the discipline meaningful and memorable to students, so that they can draw from it a working knowledge that will enrich their future studies.
Coverage and Scope
The units of our Human Anatomy and Physiology textbook adhere to the scope and sequence followed by most two-semester courses nationwide.
Unit 1: Levels of Organization
Chapters 1–4 provide students with a basic understanding of human anatomy and physiology, including its language, the levels of organization, and the basics of chemistry and cell biology. These chapters provide a foundation for the further study of the body. They also focus particularly on how the body’s regions, important chemicals, and cells maintain homeostasis.
Unit 2: Support and Movement
In Chapters 1–7, students explore the skin, the largest organ of the body, and examine the body’s skeletal and muscular systems, following a traditional sequence of topics. This unit is the first to walk students through specific systems of the body, and as it does so, it maintains a focus on homeostasis as well as those diseases and conditions that can disrupt it.
Unit 3: Regulation, Integration, and Control
Chapters 1–6 help students answer questions about nervous and endocrine system control and regulation. In a break with the traditional sequence of topics, the special senses are integrated into the chapter on the somatic nervous system. The chapter on the neurological examination offers students a unique approach to understanding nervous system function using five simple but powerful diagnostic tests.
Unit 4: Fluids and Transport
In Chapters 1–4, students examine the principal means of transport for materials needed to support the human body, regulate its internal environment, and provide protection.
Unit 5: Energy, Maintenance, and Environmental Exchange
In Chapters 1–5, students discover the interaction between body systems and the outside environment for the exchange of materials, the capture of energy, the release of waste, and the overall maintenance of the internal systems that regulate the exchange. The explanations and illustrations are particularly focused on how structure relates to function.
Unit 6: Human Development and the Continuity of Life
The closing chapters examine the male and female reproductive systems, describe the process of human development and the different stages of pregnancy, and end with a review of the mechanisms of inheritance.
Pedagogical Foundation and Features
Human Anatomy and Physiology is designed to promote scientific literacy. Throughout the text, you will find features that engage the students by taking selected topics a step further.
Dynamic, Learner-Centered Art
Our unique approach to visuals is designed to emphasize only the components most important in any given illustration. The art style is particularly aimed at focusing student learning through a powerful blend of traditional depictions and instructional innovations.
Much of the art in this book consists of black line illustrations. The strongest line is used to highlight the most important structures, and shading is used to show dimension and shape. Color is used sparingly to highlight and clarify the primary anatomical or functional point of the illustration. This technique is intended to draw students’ attention to the critical learning point in the illustration, without distraction from excessive gradients, shadows, and highlights. Full color is used when the structure or process requires it (for example, muscle diagrams and cardiovascular system illustrations).
Micrograph magnifications have been calculated based on the objective provided with the image. If a micrograph was recorded at 40×, and the image was magnified an additional 2×, we calculated the final magnification of the micrograph to be 80×.
Please note that, when viewing the textbook electronically, the micrograph magnification provided in the text does not take into account the size and magnification of the screen on your electronic device. There may be some variation.
The following resources are (or will be) available in addition to main text:
About Our Team
Robin J. Heyden
OpenStax College wishes to thank the Regents of University of Michigan Medical School for the use of their extensive micrograph collection. Many of the UM micrographs that appear in Human Anatomy and Physiology are interactive WebScopes, which students can explore by zooming in and out.
We also wish to thank the Open Learning Initiative at Carnegie Mellon University, with whom we shared and exchanged resources during the development of Human Anatomy and Physiology.