An article by the Paleoneurology group of the National Center for Research on Human Evolution (CENIEH), coordinated by Emiliano Bruner, has just been published in the American Journal of Primatology on the variations and differences in the parietal lobes of different species of cercopitecids, known as the old world monkeys.
The results of this article, in which the University of the Witwatersrand (South Africa) has also collaborated, distinguish two groups: one with large occipital lobes and reduced parietal lobes (cercopithecus), and another with large parietal lobes and reduced occipital lobes (colobus and baboons).
The occipital lobes are particularly involved in decoding visual signals. These anatomical differences are assumed to be associated with differences in behavior and cognitive abilities, probably due to differences in dietary habits and locomotion patterns of these species.
“We have applied geometric shape analysis and surface analysis methods to study the parietal lobes in 11 genera of African and Asian monkeys; and in order to extrapolate the conclusions to the fossil record and extinct species, we have used endocranial molds ”, explains Ana Sofia Pereira-Pedro, lead author of the study.
Body and environment
The parietal lobes of the brain are crucial for the relationship between body and environment, and play a fundamental role at the level of the ecological and cognitive capacities of a species.
Given their importance in the complexity of behavior and ecology, they are particularly developed in primates, and specifically in modern humans. Even so, the information about its anatomical variations remains very limited.
Complete bibliographic information
Pereira ‐ Pedro, AS, Beaudet, A, Bruner, E. Parietal lobe variation in cercopithecid endocasts. Am J Primatol. 2019; e23025. https://doi.org/10.1002/ajp.23025.
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