The sequence of chapters and placement of some topics in this book differ from others. While I felt it was risky to depart from tradition in my first edition, reviewer comments have overwhelmingly supported my intuition that these represent a more logical way of presenting the
Saladin: Anatomy & I Front Matter I Preface I I © The McGraw-Hill
Physiology: The Unity of Companies, 2003 Form and Function, Third Edition x Preface human A&P. Indeed, some have written that they are changing their teaching approach because of this book.
I treat the most basic concepts of heredity in chapter 4 rather than waiting, as most books do, until the last chapter. Students would be ill-prepared to understand color blindness, blood types, hemophilia, sex determination, and other topics if they didn't already know about such concepts as dominant and recessive alleles, sex chromosomes, and sex linkage.
I treat gross anatomy of the muscular system (chapter 10) immediately after the skeletal system and joints in order to tie it closely to the structures on which the muscles act and to relate muscle actions to the terminology of joint movements. This is followed by muscle physiology and then neurophysiology so that these two topics can be closely integrated in their discussions of synapses, neuro-transmitters, and membrane potentials.
Many instructors cite the nervous system as the most difficult one for students to understand, and in many courses, it is presented in a hurry before the clock runs out on the first semester. Other A&P textbooks devote six chapters or more to this system. It is overwhelming to both the instructor and student to cover this much material at the end of the course. I present this system in five chapters, and notwithstanding my assignment of a separate chapter to the autonomic nervous system in this edition, this is still the most concise treatment of this system among the similar two-semester textbooks.
Most textbooks place the urinary system near the end because of its anatomical association with the reproductive system. I feel that its intimate physiological ties with the circulatory and respiratory systems are much more important than this anatomical issue. The respiratory and urinary systems collaborate to regulate the pH of the body fluids; the kidneys have more impact than any other organ on blood volume and pressure; and the principles of capillary fluid exchange should be fresh in the mind of a student studying glomerular filtration and tubular reabsorption. Except for an unavoidable detour to discuss the lymphatic and immune systems, I treat the respiratory and urinary systems as soon as possible after the circulatory system.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.