Three-dimensional procrustes analysis of modern human craniofacial form

Authors

  • Jackie Badawi-Fayad,

    Corresponding author
    1. Muséum National d'Histoire Naturelle, Département de Préhistoire USM 204, Institut de Paléontologie Humaine, Paris, France
    2. Centre Hospitalier National d'Ophtalmologie des XV–XX, Service de Neuro-Imagerie, Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6, Paris, France
    • 222 Avenue de Versailles, 75016 Paris, France
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  • Emmanuel-Alain Cabanis

    1. Centre Hospitalier National d'Ophtalmologie des XV–XX, Service de Neuro-Imagerie, Université Pierre et Marie Curie Paris 6, Paris, France
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Abstract

The objective of this study was to analyze modern human craniofacial form using 3D Procrustes superimposition in order to establish a reference model and validate it on computed tomography (CT). The sample consists of 136 specimens from five modern human regional groups. Thirty-three craniofacial landmark coordinates have been recorded using a Microscribe and calculated on CT scans for five crania from the sample. Procrustes superimposition has been performed to calculate the mean shape, and a discriminant analysis has also been carried out to estimate the variability of shape. The results show that the repeatability of measurements made on CT and on Microscribe is excellent (R = 0.99). There is no major distinctiveness in the craniofacial shape; however, discriminant function 1 separates out the European crania from the others, especially African and American. It includes the width and the length of the face, the flatness of the upper face, the prognathism of the maxilla, as well as the length and the inclination of the palate. The width of the maxilla and the palate do not show a great variability. This may be the common invariant feature responsible for the alignment of the teeth in all specimens. It may correspond to functional patterns related to masticatory constraints manifested by the important interproximal and occlusal dental wear in all specimens. This study confirms the high accuracy of measurements made on CT scan and the importance of geometric morphometrics, which provides an accurate characterization of the overall craniofacial shape and its variation within the entire population. Anat Rec 2007. © 2007 Wiley-Liss, Inc.

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