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Title: 3D modelling to analyze heat dissipation on fossil endocasts
Authors: Musso, Fabio
Cuétara, José Manuel de la
Bruner, Emiliano
Issue Date: 2011
Publisher: American Association of Physical Anthropologists
Citation: 80th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, 2011, 221-222
Abstract: Brain evolution in the human genus is associated with a definite increase in metabolic expenditure. Currently, there is no agreement on the existence of specific cooling mechanisms in Homo sapiens to balance the heat production related to such high metabolic rates. At the same time there is little information on the thermoregulatory biology of the brain mass in our own species. Cortical and meningeal vessels have been hypothesised to have a functional role in this sense, as suggested by anatomical differences among fossil hominids. Here, we present a model to analyze heat dispersion on fossil endocasts, as function of brain geometry and basic physical properties associated with heat conduction. Combining digital imaging and numerical integration techniques, we used the heat equation to quantify heat dynamics on the surface of fossil endocasts, dividing the space in a three dimensional cubic lattice. After CT-based endocasts reconstruction and voxel-based 3D model rendering, we find numerically the stationary heat distribution on the regular lattice defined by the voxels. Although this study rely only on raw geometry without considering further anatomical or histological elements, some differences between modern humans, Neandertals, and Australopithecines merits attention. Advantages and limits of the method are discussed accordingly.
Description: Ponencia presentada en: 80th Annual Meeting of the American Association of Physical Anthropologists, 12-16 de abril 2011, Minneapolis, Minnesota
Type: Presentation
Appears in Collections:Congresos, encuentros científicos y estancias de investigación

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