Flash Animations

Physiology and Anatomy

Listed below are a collection of physiology animations and anatomy animations. These animations are intended to support text or lecture and it is important that they are not seen as stand-alone reference material.

If you or your students discover any factual errors in the animations please let me know: andrew@visualization.org.uk
Some of the animations can only be accessed from the university network - please contact Liz Hodgson in the LDU if you would like them on WebCT so that students can access them externally.
Visual detail in Flash animations can often be magnified (click on the animation with the right mouse button and use the zoom control)

Here are some animations of organs/organ systems:

Cranial nerves (No text version)

Cranial nerves (Customised version))

Anatomical directions and sections.

Central and Peripheral Nervous System

Vertebrae: meninges etc.

Brain: meninges cerebrospinal fluid etc.

Primary motor and somatosensory Cortices (Homunculus)

Skin turgor

Contraction and electrical activity in the heart (Slowed down representation)

Intestinal villi (diagram)

Gastrointestinal tract (diagram)

Stomach, liver etc. (diagram)

Salivary glands (diagram)

Hip and dislocation (diagram)

Eye (diagram)

Nutrition animation

This GIT animation represents the anatomy and physiology of the gut including: intestines, the lumen of jejunum and details including: digestion and absorption of nutrients, enzyme action on starch by salivary and pancreatic amylase to produce disaccharides such as lactose and sucrose. It includes structures such as: muscularis externa, lymphatic vessel, villi, epithelial cells, microvilli, bi-lipid membrane. Also examined are: diffusion of lipids across a bi-layer membrane, co-transport, facilitated diffusion, primary active transport, the sodium/potassium pump which develops a concentration gradient of ions, and finally the breakdown of glycogen to glucose in muscle cells.

Biliary_tract animation

This animation represents a section through the Duodenum, biliary tree including Hepatic Duct, Cystic Duct, Common Bile Duct, Gallbladder and Sphincter of Oddi. Gallstones are represented and the context of effects such as biliary colic, cholecystitis, cholangitis,jaundice and pancreatitis considered.

Epilepsy animation

This animation simulates the A and P of epilepsy. It shows seizure in different parts of the cortex of the brain and corresponding effects. Also shown are possible targets for some anticonvulsant drugs: the membrane based receptors of a neuron, its axon and voltage-gated sodium channels, its synapse with GABA effects on chloride ion movement, calcium flux, neurotransmitter re-uptake, and enzyme activity.

Heart animation

This representation looks at pre and post-natal circulation in a normal and abnormal heart. conditions such as Patent Ductus Arteriosus (PDA), Atrial Septal Defect (ASD) and Ventricular Septal Defect (VSD) are simulated.

Schizophrenia animation

This animation examines Schizophrenia and neural pathways associated with the condition and treatment. (Nigrostriatal, Mesolimbic, Mesocortical and Tuberoinfundibular dopamine pathways along with serotonin pathways). We consider the relationship between tardive dyskinesia and some neuroleptic drugs along with disorders (akathisia and dystonia) normally associated with Parkinson's disease. The animation also looks at activities at the synapse and possible mechanism of action for antipsychotic and other drugs.

Pain animation

(Uclan network only)

This animation represents the anatomy and physiology of pain. It shows structures and processes involved in the perception of pain. The animation can be modified using the Pain Builder animation below but please seek advice first.

Pain animation customisation tool
This tool allows you to create text files which customise the links and quiz. (please seek advice on how to use this: andrew@visualization.org.uk)

Stroke animation basic version

(Uclan network only. Please let me know first if you want to use this.)

This animation shows two examples of interrupted blood flow in arteries of the brain along with some of the factors affecting the outcome of a stroke.

Stroke animation

(Uclan network only Please let me know first if you want to use this.)

This animation shows more stroke examples (organised in terms of syndromes).

Here are some animations about the pelvic floor and micturition:

(Uclan network only Please let me know first if you want to use these.)

Effect of enlarged prostate

Muscles of the Pelvic floor

Nervous control of the bladder

Bladder overactivity due to stroke

Structures associated with micturition (labelled)

Quiz: Structures associated with micturition.

Here are some animations about the heart:

(Uclan network only)

Wenckebach AV block

Sinus Arrhythmia

Atrial Fibrillation

Wandering Pacemaker

Ventricular Tachycardia

Ventricular Fibrillation

Sinus Tachycardia

Sinus Bradycardia

Premature Ventricular Contractions

Premature Junctional Contractions

Premature Atrial Contractions

Junctional Escape Rhythm

junctional Tachycardia

Idioventricular Rhythm

First-degree Heart Block

Complete Heart Block

Classical Second-Degree Heart Block

Atrial Tachycardia

Atrial Flutter


Accelerated Junctional Rhythm

Sinus Tachycardia (shown at a more realistic rate than above)

Sinus Bradycardia (shown at a more realistic rate than above)

Here are some animations about diabetes:

Neuropathy (Looks at nerve fibres and nerve bundles)

Looks at glucose control mechanisms

Looks at the effect of Diabetes on glucose control

Shows Capilliaries and Microaneurysm

Quiz on the features of the fundus of the eye

Quiz on the features of the fundus of the eye

Here are some (older) human physiology animations:

Lipid membrane




Ion channel


Calcium pump

Sodium-Potassium pump

Ligand-gated ion channel

Graded potential

Action potential (Unmyelinated axon)

Neurotransmission (Acetylcholine receptor example)

Muscle fibres and motor units

Action potential (Myelinated axon)

Muscle fibre and Motor End Plate Potentials

Action potential (Voltage gated Sodium and Potassium channels)

Facilitated diffusion

Resting Membrane Potential

Equilibrium potential for Potassium

Equilibrium potential for Sodium



Here are more recent animations of human physiology:

Co-transport (of monoamine neurotransmitters)


Facilitated diffusion (Glucose transporter)

Glycogen (in muscle cell)



sodium-glucose cotransport

Enzyme and Cotransport

GABA gated chloride channel (Barbiturate effects)

Competitive receptor binding

Sodium channel (mechanism)

sodium-glucose cotransport

Enzyme (Monoamine oxidase)

Schwann cells and Oligodendrocyte

Amylase action on starch

Here are some miscellaneous animations:

Importance of sample size in research

Importance of choice of evidence

Simple representation of an atom and radioactive decay

Effects of forces.

Andrew Broughton
Learning Development Unit
University of Central Lancashire

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