Towards digital reconstruction of fossil crania and brain morphology

Naomichi Ogihara, Hideki Amano, Takeo Kikuchi, Yusuke Morita, Kunihiro Hasegawa, Takanori Kochiyama, Hiroki C. Tanabe

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

9 Citations (Scopus)


In order to discuss possible differences in brain anatomy between Neanderthals and early modern humans, the original antemortem appearance of fossil crania that enclosed the brain must somehow be correctly restored, as soft tissues such as the brain are generally not fossilized. However, crania are typically fractured, fragmented, and deformed due to compaction and diagenesis. Furthermore, recovery of all component fragments of fossil crania is rare. Restoration of the brain morphology of fossil crania therefore necessitates correct assembly of the available fragments, eliminating distortions, and compensating for missing parts as a first step. This paper reviews the current status of computerized reconstruction methods, then provides an overview and future directions toward digital reconstruction of fossil crania and the associated brain morphology.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)57-68
Number of pages12
JournalAnthropological Science
Issue number1
Publication statusPublished - 2015 Jan 29
Externally publishedYes


  • Assembly
  • Computational neuroanatomy
  • Deformation
  • Interpolation
  • Virtual anthropology

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Anthropology


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