Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Hominin endocast topography: An analysis using geographic information systems
by Boas, Melissa, M.A., Florida Atlantic University, 2012, 77; 1522076
Abstract (Summary)

This study examined the topography of prefrontal molds of human endocasts using three-dimensional laser scanning and geographic information systems (GIS) in order to carry out intra-species comparisons. Overall brain topography can indicate when major reorganizational shifts in brain structure happened in our evolutionary history and these shifts may indicate major shifts in cognition and behavior. Endocasts are one of the sole sources of information about extinct hominin brains; they reproduce details of the brain’s external morphology. Analysis of endocast morphology has never been done using GIS methodology. The use of GIS helps to overcome previous obstacles in regards to endocast analysis. Since this methodology is new, this research focuses on only one species, Homo sapiens and the area of focus is narrowed to the frontal lobe, specifically Broca’s cap. This area is associated with speech in humans and is therefore of evolutionary significance. The variability in lateralization of this feature was quantified.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Broadfield, Douglas
Commitee: Brown, Clifford, Detwiler, Kate
School: Florida Atlantic University
Department: Anthropology
School Location: United States -- Florida
Source: MAI 51/05M(E), Masters Abstracts International
Subjects: Morphology, Physical anthropology, Evolution and Development
Publication Number: 1522076
ISBN: 978-1-267-94831-1
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