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Title: Shape analysis of spatial relationships between orbito-ocular and endocranial structures in modern humans and fossil hominids
Authors: Pereira-Pedro, Ana Sofía
Masters, Michael P.
Bruner, Emiliano
Keywords: Eyeball;Frontal lobes;Functional craniology;Geometric morphometrics;Orbits;Temporal lobes
Issue Date: Dec-2017
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: Journal of Anatomy, 2017, 321 (6), 947-960
Abstract: The orbits and eyes of modern humans are situated directly below the frontal lobes and anterior to the temporal lobes. Contiguity between these orbital and cerebral elements could generate spatial constraints, and potentially lead to deformation of the eye and reduced visual acuity during development. In this shape analysis we evaluate whether and to what extent covariation exists between ocular morphology and the size and spatial position of the frontal and temporal areas in adult modern humans. Magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) was used to investigate patterns of variation among the brain and eyes, while computed tomography (CT) was used to compare cranial morphology in this anatomical region among modern humans, extinct hominids and chimpanzees. Seventeen landmarks and semi-landmarks that capture the outline of the eye, frontal lobe, anterior fossa/orbital roof and the position of the temporal tips were sampled using lateral scout views in two dimensions, after projection of the average grayscale values of each hemisphere, with midsagittal and parasagittal elements overlapped onto the same plane. MRI results demonstrated that eye position in adult humans varies most with regard to its horizontal distance from the temporal lobes and, secondly, in its vertical distance from the frontal lobes. Size was mainly found to covary with the distance between the eye and temporal lobes. Proximity to these cerebral lobes may generate spatial constraints, as some ocular deformation was observed. Considering the CT analysis, modern humans vary most with regard to the orientation of the orbits, while interspecific variation is mainly associated with separation between the orbits and endocranial elements. These findings suggest that size and position of the frontal and temporal lobes can affect eye and orbit morphology, though potential effects on eye shape require further study. In particular, possible effects of these spatial and allometric relationships on the eye and vision should be examined using ontogenetic samples, vision parameters such as refractive error in diopters, and three-dimensional approaches that include measures of extraocular soft tissues within the orbit.
ISSN: 0021-8782
DOI: 10.1111/joa.12693
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

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