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JAMA Revisited
May 5, 2015

Anatomic Nomenclature

Author Affiliations

Copyright 2015 American Medical Association. All Rights Reserved. Applicable FARS/DFARS Restrictions Apply to Government Use.

JAMA. 2015;313(17):1760. doi:10.1001/jama.2014.11730

Originally Published May 8, 1915 | JAMA. 1915;6419:1569-- 1570.

On the various structures of the human body there has piled up such a mass of technical terms that the science of anatomy staggers beneath its own terminology.

The student who reads of the third eye, median eye and parietal eye readily learns that these three terms are given to the same structure. He soon finds that pineal body, pineal gland, pineal organ, parietal body, parietal gland, and parietal organ are six more terms used to designate the same structure. In the common textbooks he will find corpus pineale, glandula pineale, epiphysis and epiphysis cerebri, which are four more terms for the same structure. From his medical dictionary he adds to these conarium, pinus and penis cerebri. With these sixteen synonyms in mind he is prepared to read the English articles concerning this structure. If he wishes to gather what has been written by the French and German authors, he must at least double this number of synonyms.