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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Title: Middle Cranial Fossa Anatomy and the Origin of Modern Humans
Author: Bastir, Markus; Rosas, Antonio; Lieberman, Daniel Eric; O'Higgins, Paul

Note: Order does not necessarily reflect citation order of authors.

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.
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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.
Published Version: doi:10.1002/ar.20636
Other Sources: http://www.fas.harvard.edu/~skeleton/PDFList.html#2008
Terms of Use: This article is made available under the terms and conditions applicable to Other Posted Material, as set forth at http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:dash.current.terms-of-use#LAA
Citable link to this page: http://nrs.harvard.edu/urn-3:HUL.InstRepos:3716473
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