Grant TypeDissertation Fieldwork Grant
Institutional AffiliationNew York, Buffalo, State U. of
Grant numberGr. 9641
Approve DateApril 16, 2018
Project TitleEriksen, Amandine B., State U. of New York, Buffalo, NY - To aid research on 'An Integrative Assessment of the Pattern and Causes of Bilateral Asymmetry Across the Human Skeleton,' supervised by Dr. Noreen von Cramon-Taubadel
AMANDINE ERIKSEN, then a graduate student at State University of New York, Buffalo, New York, was awarded funding in April 2018 to aid research on ‘An Integrative Assessment of the Pattern and Causes of Bilateral Asymmetry across the Human Skeleton,’ supervised by Dr. Noreen von Cramon-Taubadel. Previous studies of human bilateral asymmetry have tended to focus on single skeletal elements or resulted in conflicting interpretations as to the sources of asymmetry, thereby limiting the ability to differentiate between genetic, developmental, and behavioral causes of asymmetry such as the effect of hand preference. This project focused on fluctuating asymmetry (FA) and directional asymmetry (DA) implementing a morphometric approach to analyze 13 bones representing the skull, pelvis, and limbs to explore differences between each side of the body. Using three-dimensional data collected from 43 adult skeletons for whom hand preference and occupation was documented, this research tested the hypothesis that different skeletal elements exhibit different levels of asymmetry and to what extent handedness and everyday activities shape the skeleton. Results first indicate that different regions are subject to different asymmetry-inducing pressures, both across individuals and across the sexes. Secondarily, results suggest that handedness can affect asymmetry in parts of the skeleton not directly linked to the upper limb. Given the variety of genetic, developmental, and biomechanical factors influencing the skeleton, these findings highlight the importance of using a holistic approach to assessing asymmetry across the human skeleton.