What the difference between anatomy and physiology?
Anatomy and physiology are examples of biological disciplines. These two terms tend to have close similarities and it is the reason why many colleges tend to teach them together. However, they normally confuse many students, and knowing their differences will be quite vital.
The discussion provides the core difference between anatomy and physiology in a tabular form for easier understanding. We have also provided the core similarities between anatomy and physiology to bring out their relationship.
What is Anatomy?
Anatomy refers to a branch of biology that deals with the identification and description of body structures of living things. It is further subdivided into Gross Anatomy and Microscopic Anatomy. Dissection and separation of body parts will help in understanding the anatomy of any living organism.
What Is Physiology?
Physiology refers to a branch of biology that deals with the study of body functions and processes such as digestion, excretion, respiration, and reproduction among many others. The discipline helps an individual understand how the body function in a normal condition and the effect in case of organ failure.
Comparison Chart: Anatomy vs Physiology
|Definition||Refers to a branch of biology that deals with the study of identification and description of a living organism||Refers to a branch of biology that deals with the study of body processes and functions|
|Main Focus||Size, shape, and location of body structures||Deals with the chemical, physical and electrical process in the body of the organism|
|Type of Study||Static Study||Dynamic Study|
|Significance||Dissection and separation of body parts help in understanding the anatomy of a living organism||Help to understand the anatomy of a particular living organism|
|Deals with||Body structures such as tissues, organs, and organ system||Body functions and processes of various parts|
|Can be performed in||Both dead and living organisms||Only in living organisms|
|Main Branches||Gross Anatomy
|Subjects Covered||Microscopy, Cell Biology, Histology, General Biology.||Gross Anatomy, Histology, Biochemistry, Physics.|
A career in physical therapy
|Example||Anatomy of the heart deal with structures, chambers, valves, arteries, and veins||Physiology of the heart deals with the study of how the heart pumps blood|
Core Differences between Anatomy and Physiology
- Anatomy is the study of identification and description of body structures whereas physiology is the study of the body processes and functions.
- The research of anatomy is static while that of physiology is dynamic
- The main branches of anatomy are gross and microscopic anatomy while those of physiology are cell and system physiology
- Anatomy deals with body structures like tissues, organs and organ systems while physiology deals with body parts and their functions
- Anatomy experiments can be done on both dead and living organisms while physiology only on a living organism
- Anatomy help to teach an individual about various body parts while physiology teaches how different functions are carried out by various body parts
- The main subjects covered in anatomy are cell biology, histology, and general biology while in physiology are gross anatomy, histology, and biochemistry
- Common career option in anatomy are anatomist, researcher, and nursing while physiology are physiologist, researcher, and physical therapy
- Anatomy focus on the size, shape, and location of the body structures whereas physiology focus on the chemical, physical and electrical process of the body
- An example of anatomy is the heart anatomy which deals with the structure, chambers, valves, arteries, and veins whereas physiology example is the physiology of the heart that explains how the heart pumps blood.
Core Similarities between Anatomy and Physiology
- Both are branches of biology
- Both deal with a living organism
- Both help understand parts of living organisms
- Both led to biological career options
The core difference between anatomy and physiology is that anatomy deals with the body structure identification and description whereas physiology deals with the body processes and functions play by different body parts.