Middle Cranial Fossa Anatomy and the Origin of Modern Humans

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Middle Cranial Fossa Anatomy and the Origin of Modern Humans

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dc.contributor.author Bastir, Markus
dc.contributor.author Rosas, Antonio
dc.contributor.author Lieberman, Daniel Eric
dc.contributor.author O'Higgins, Paul
dc.date.accessioned 2010-03-09T20:51:05Z
dc.date.issued 2008
dc.identifier.citation Bashir, Markus, Antonio Rosas, Daniel E. Lieberman, Paul O’Higgins. 2008. Middle cranial fossa anatomy and the origin of modern humans. The Anatomical Record 291(2): 130–140. en_US
dc.identifier.issn 1932-8486 en_US
dc.identifier.uri http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3716473
dc.description.abstract Anatomically, modern humans differ from archaic forms in possessing a globular neurocranium and a retracted face and in cognitive functions, many of which are associated with the temporal lobes. The middle cranial fossa (MCF) interacts during growth and development with the temporal lobes, the midface, and the mandible. It has been proposed that evolutionary transformations of the MCF (perhaps from modification of the temporal lobes) can have substantial influences on craniofacial morphology. Here, we use three-dimensional (3D) geometric morphometrics and computer reconstructions of computed tomography-scanned fossil hominids, fossil and recent modern humans and chimpanzees to address this issue further. Mean comparisons and permutation analyses of scaled 3D basicranial landmarks confirm that the MCF of Homo sapiens is highly significantly different (P < 0.001) from H. neanderthalensis, H. heidelbergensis, and Pan troglodytes. Modern humans have a unique configuration with relatively more anterolateral projection of the MCF pole relative to the optic chiasm and the foramen rotundum. These findings are discussed in the context of evolutionary changes in craniofacial morphology and the origins of modern human autapomorphies. In particular, the findings of this study point to variations in the temporal lobe, which, through effects on the MCF and face, are central to the evolution of modern human facial form. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Anthropology en_US
dc.language.iso en_US en_US
dc.publisher Wiley-Blackwell en_US
dc.relation.isversionof doi:10.1002/ar.20636 en_US
dc.relation.hasversion http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~skeleton/PDFList.html#2008 en_US
dash.license LAA
dc.subject lateral cranial base en_US
dc.subject human evolution en_US
dc.subject temporal lobes en_US
dc.subject sphenoid en_US
dc.subject 3D reconstructions en_US
dc.subject geometric morphometrics en_US
dc.title Middle Cranial Fossa Anatomy and the Origin of Modern Humans en_US
dc.type Journal Article en_US
dc.description.version Version of Record en_US
dc.relation.journal The Anatomical Record en_US
dash.depositing.author Lieberman, Daniel Eric
dc.date.available 2010-03-09T20:51:05Z

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  • FAS Scholarly Articles [7374]
    Peer reviewed scholarly articles from the Faculty of Arts and Sciences of Harvard University

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