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Title: Patterns of morphological integration between parietal and temporal areas in the human skull
Authors: Bruner, Emiliano
Pereira-Pedro, Ana Sofía
Bastir, Markus
Keywords: Cranial base;Functional craniology;Head orientation;Parietal lobes;Temporal lobes
Issue Date: Oct-2017
Publisher: Wiley
Citation: Journal of Morphology, 2017, 278 (10), 1312-1320
Abstract: Modern humans have evolved bulging parietal areas and large, projecting temporal lobes. Both changes, largely due to a longitudinal expansion of these cranial and cerebral elements, were hypothesized to be the result of brain evolution and cognitive variations. Nonetheless, the independence of these two morphological characters has not been evaluated. Because of structural and functional integration among cranial elements, changes in the position of the temporal poles can be a secondary consequence of parietal bulging and reorientation of the head axis. In this study, we use geometric morphometrics to test the correlation between parietal shape and the morphology of the endocranial base in a sample of adult modern humans. Our results suggest that parietal proportions show no correlation with the relative position of the temporal poles within the spatial organization of the endocranial base. The vault and endocranial base are likely to be involved in distinct morphogenetic processes, with scarce or no integration between these two districts. Therefore, the current evidence rejects the hypothesis of reciprocal morphological influences between parietal and temporal morphology, suggesting that evolutionary spatial changes in these two areas may have been independent. However, parietal bulging exerts a visible effect on the rotation of the cranial base, influencing head position and orientation. This change can have had a major relevance in the reorganization of the head functional axis.
ISSN: 0362-2525
DOI: 10.1002/jmor.20714
Type: Article
Appears in Collections:Paleobiología

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