The Visual Computer

, Volume 23, Issue 9–11, pp 743–751 | Cite as

Visualizing shape transformation between chimpanzee and human braincases

  • Matthias Specht
  • Renaud Lebrun
  • Christoph P.E. Zollikofer
Original Article


The quantitative comparison of the form of the braincase is a central issue in paleoanthropology (i.e., the study of human evolution based on fossil evidence). The major difficulty is that there are only few locations defining biological correspondence between individual braincases. In this paper, we use mesh parameterization techniques to tackle this problem. We propose a method to conformally parameterize the genus-0 surface of the braincase on the sphere and to calibrate the parameterization to match biological constraints. The resulting consistent parameterization gives detailed information about shape differences between the braincase of human and chimp. This opens up new perspectives for the quantitative comparison of “featureless” biological structures.


Scientific visualization Surface parameterization Morphing Brain Geometric morphometrics 


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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag 2007

Authors and Affiliations

  • Matthias Specht
    • 1
  • Renaud Lebrun
    • 1
  • Christoph P.E. Zollikofer
    • 1
  1. 1.Anthropological InstituteUniversity of ZürichZürichSwitzerland

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