Functional adaptations in the primate shoulder joint complex

01 January 2024 → 31 December 2027
Research Foundation - Flanders (FWO)
Research disciplines
  • Natural sciences
    • Animal morphology, anatomy and physiology
    • Biology of adaptation
  • Medical and health sciences
    • Biomechanics
    • Anatomy
  • Engineering and technology
    • Modelling and simulation
shoulder kinematica - computer modelling - primaten
Project description

The primate shoulder, an intriguing and complex structure, plays a crucial role in locomotor capacity. While many studies have examined non-human (NH) primate shoulder morphology, our grasp of the morphological underpinnings of shoulder function remains limited. Most research has focused on isolated skeletal elements, even though the shoulder joint complex comprises multiple inter-connected components. Moreover, the biomechanical implications of specific morphological traits and their impact on hominin evolution remain unknown. Understanding the relationship between shoulder anatomy, forelimb function, locomotion, and trunk orientation is challenging due to the joint system's complexity. However, innovative computational modelling offers a promising way to uncover form-function relationships in the primate shoulder. In this project, we will develop and utilize cutting-edge modelling techniques for a comprehensive anatomical and biomechanical analysis of the NH primate shoulder. We will examine how specific anatomical traits influence forelimb function in NH primates and compare those findings to modern humans. Our research will contribute to a deeper understanding of human evolution by elucidating form-function relationships in the NH primate shoulder, enhancing our ability to interpret fossil remains and reconstruct the evolutionary history of our species.