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Excessive asymmetry of the human endocast in the context of evolutionary changes in hominids

Accroissement de l’asymétrie de l’endocrâne humain dans le contexte des changements évolutifs chez les hominidés
Anna Maria Kubicka, Anne-Laure Bernat, Wioletta Nowaczewska et Antoine Balzeau

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1Human brain (especially the posterior part of the perisylvian region) reveals higher level of asymmetry than the brain in non-human primates and is likely to favour the appearance of specialized cognitive abilities in humans. Nevertheless, the factors leading to the appearance of pronounced brain asymmetry in the genus Homo and different brain structures among hominids are still unclear. The new END-ASYM project will investigate whether the causes of excessive brain asymmetry in the genus Homo can be found in the changes in hemispheric blood flow velocity. This assumption is based on the fact that oxygenated blood transmitted by the blood vessels supports aerobic metabolic demands of the brain. In other words, there is a functional link between the size of the arteries and the amount of blood flow rate in hemispheres. That is why, it is worth investigating whether the pronounced endocast asymmetry in humans may result from differences in the blood flow rate between brain hemispheres.

2To investigate the above assumption, macroevolutionary research are carried out. The material consists of about 1,600 CT skull scans of non-human primates, all known hominid fossils from Africa and Asia and modern human groups for which the cranial vault and base of the skull are preserved. Moreover, the Moyamoya patients are also investigated to assess the real impact of cerebral blood supply disorders on the asymmetry of the endocast and brain. To achieve the project goals, a combination of measurements with modern methods (geometric morphometrics) are used. Currently, the research is still ongoing therefore only the developed methodological approach (3D endocast reconstruction, geometric morphometrics, method of blood flow calculation) and the first results will be presented.

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Référence électronique

Anna Maria Kubicka, Anne-Laure Bernat, Wioletta Nowaczewska et Antoine Balzeau, « Excessive asymmetry of the human endocast in the context of evolutionary changes in hominids »Bulletins et mémoires de la Société d’Anthropologie de Paris [En ligne], 35(S) | 2023, mis en ligne le 14 janvier 2023, consulté le 28 janvier 2023. URL : http://journals.openedition.org/bmsap/11227 ; DOI : https://doi.org/10.4000/bmsap.11227

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Auteurs

Anna Maria Kubicka

Department of zoology, Poznań University of Life Sciences, Poznań, Poland ; UMR 7194 HNHP, MNHN, CNRS, UPVD, Département Homme et Environnement, Musée de l’Homme, Paris, France
amkkubicka[at]gmail.com

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Anne-Laure Bernat

Service de Neurochirurgie, Hôpital Lariboisière – APHP, Paris, France

Wioletta Nowaczewska

Department of Human Biology, University of Wrocław, Wrocław, Poland

Antoine Balzeau

UMR 7194 HNHP, MNHN, CNRS, UPVD, Département Homme et Environnement, Musée de l’Homme, Paris, France ; Department of African Zoology, Royal Museum for Central Africa, Tervuren, Belgium

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CC-BY-NC-ND-4.0

Creative Commons - Attribution - Pas d'Utilisation Commerciale - Pas de Modification 4.0 International - CC BY-NC-ND 4.0

https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-nd/4.0/

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