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Several biological changes characterize normal brain aging in humans. Although some of these age-associated neural alterations are also found in other species, overt volumetric decline of particular brain structures, such as the hippocampus and frontal lobe, has only been observed in humans. However, comparable data on the effects of aging on regional brain(More)
BACKGROUND Debates over the evolution of hominin bipedalism, a defining human characteristic, revolve around whether early bipeds walked more like humans, with energetically efficient extended hind limbs, or more like apes with flexed hind limbs. The 3.6 million year old hominin footprints at Laetoli, Tanzania represent the earliest direct evidence of(More)
BACKGROUND A great deal of experimental research supports strong associations between exercise, cognition, neurogenesis and neuroprotection in mammals. Much of this work has focused on neurogenesis in individual subjects in a limited number of species. However, no study to date has examined the relationship between exercise and neurobiology across a wide(More)
Recent work has shown that, despite being craniodentally more derived, Australopithecus africanus had more apelike limb-size proportions than A. afarensis. Here, we test whether the A. africanus hand, as judged by metacarpal shaft and articular proportions, was similarly apelike. More specifically, did A. africanus have a short and narrow first metacarpal(More)
Past studies have hypothesized that aspects of hominin upper limb morphology are linked to the ability to produce stone tools. However, we lack the data on upper limb motions needed to evaluate the biomechanical context of stone tool production. This study seeks to better understand the biomechanics of stone tool-making by investigating upper limb joint(More)
Afro-Arabian mammalian communities underwent a marked transition near the Oligocene/Miocene boundary at approximately 24 million years (Myr) ago. Although it is well documented that the endemic paenungulate taxa were replaced by migrants from the Northern Hemisphere, the timing and evolutionary dynamics of this transition have long been a mystery because(More)
Humans and other primates are distinct among placental mammals in having exceptionally slow rates of growth, reproduction, and aging. Primates' slow life history schedules are generally thought to reflect an evolved strategy of allocating energy away from growth and reproduction and toward somatic investment, particularly to the development and maintenance(More)
When searching for food, many organisms adopt a superdiffusive, scale-free movement pattern called a Lévy walk, which is considered optimal when foraging for heterogeneously located resources with little prior knowledge of distribution patterns [Viswanathan GM, da Luz MGE, Raposo EP, Stanley HE (2011) The Physics of Foraging: An Introduction to Random(More)
There is considerable debate over the level of size dimorphism and inferred social behavior of Australopithecus afarensis. Most previous studies have analyzed size variation in single variables or multiple variables drawn from single elements. These approaches suffer from small sample sizes, underscoring the need for new techniques that incorporate(More)
Previous analyses have suggested that Australopithecus africanus possessed more apelike limb proportions than Australopithecus afarensis. However, due to the errors involved in estimating limb length and body size, support for this conclusion has been limited. In this study, we use a new Monte Carlo method to (1) test the hypothesis that A. africanus had(More)