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Neuromandibular integration in humans and chimpanzees: implications for dental and mandibular reduction in Homo

Veneziano, A, Meloro, C, Irish, JD, Stringer, C, Profico, A and De Groote, I (2018) Neuromandibular integration in humans and chimpanzees: implications for dental and mandibular reduction in Homo. American Journal of Physical Anthropology. ISSN 1096-8644

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Objectives: Although the evolution of the hominin masticatory apparatus has been linked to diet and food processing, the physical connection between neurocranium and lower jaw suggests a role of encephalization in the trend of dental and mandibular reduction. Here, the hypothesis that tooth size and mandibular robusticity are influenced by morphological changes in the neurocranium was tested. Materials and Methods: Three-dimensional landmarks, alveolar lengths, and mandibular robusticity data were recorded on a sample of chimpanzee and human skulls. The morphological integration between the neurocranium and the lower jaw was analyzed by means of Singular Warps Analysis. Redundancy Analysis was performed to understand if the pattern of neuromandibular integration affects tooth size and mandibular robusticity. Results: There is significant morphological covariation between neurocranium and lower jaw in both chimpanzees and humans. In humans, changes in the temporal fossa seem to produce alterations of the relative orientation of jaw parts, while the influence of similar neurocranial changes in chimpanzees are more localized. In both species, postcanine alveolar lengths and mandibular robusticity are associated with shape changes of the temporal fossa. Conclusions: The results of this study support the hypothesis that the neurocranium is able to affect the evolution and development of the lower jaw, although most likely through functional integration of mandible, teeth, and muscles within the masticatory apparatus. This study highlights the relative influence of structural constraints and adaptive factors in the evolution of the human skull.

Item Type: Article
Additional Information: This is the accepted version of the following article: Veneziano A, Meloro C, Irish JD, Stringer C, Profico A, De Groote I. Neuromandibular integration in humans and chimpanzees: Implications for dental and mandibular reduction in Homo. Am J Phys Anthropol. 2018;00:1–13. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23606, which has been published in final form at http://dx.doi.org/10.1002/ajpa.23606
Uncontrolled Keywords: 0603 Evolutionary Biology, 1601 Anthropology, 2101 Archaeology
Subjects: C Auxiliary Sciences of History > CC Archaeology
Q Science > QL Zoology
Q Science > QM Human anatomy
R Medicine > RK Dentistry
Divisions: Natural Sciences & Psychology (closed 31 Aug 19)
Publisher: Wiley
Date Deposited: 14 May 2018 10:38
Last Modified: 04 Sep 2021 10:30
DOI or ID number: 10.1002/ajpa.23606
URI: https://researchonline.ljmu.ac.uk/id/eprint/8656
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