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Anatomical adaptations to conflicting functional demands in the primate thumb.

The primate thumb is used in a wide variety of prehensile and non-prehensile tasks, leading to conflicting functional demands and a compromise morphology. Yet, also in the human thumb, which is solely used for manipulation, there is a stability vs. mobility conflict when using precise manipulation vs. forceful precision and power grips. In this project, we want to investigate the impact of different non-prehensile (locomotor) activities on the specific anatomical configuration of the primate thumb. We will focus on three highly dexterous primates with a different phylogenetic position to humans and presenting a different locomotor repertoire, leading to a different loading history of the thumb. We will use advanced medical imaging and modelling techniques to obtain a profound insight in the functional anatomy of the thumb in these primates. This comparative analysis will also allow us to address specific hypotheses related to the stab ility vs. mobility conflict in the primate thumb.
Date:30 Sep 2015  →  Today
Keywords:modellng, thumb, biomechanics, anatomy, primates
Disciplines:Anthropology, Biomechanics, Animal biology, Veterinary medicine