Skeletal asymmetry, degenerative joint disease and handedness in humans
AuthorCzuzak, Maria Helen, 1964-
AdvisorBirkby, Walter H.
MetadataShow full item record
PublisherThe University of Arizona.
RightsCopyright © is held by the author. Digital access to this material is made possible by the University Libraries, University of Arizona. Further transmission, reproduction or presentation (such as public display or performance) of protected items is prohibited except with permission of the author.
AbstractSkeletal asymmetry is assessed by gross osteometry, combined cortical thickness, joint surface area and osteoarthritis score and compared to the reported handedness for 39 individuals. Based on the principles of bone remodeling there is a tacit assumption in the field of anthropology that handedness is the sole source of skeletal asymmetry and thus is predictable from the asymmetric pattern. In general, bone does hypertrophy in response to increased loading and atrophies when loads are chronically diminished. This study demonstrates that handedness is an ambiguous cultural construct and is nor the only contributor to skeletal asymmetry. Individuals exhibit a mosaic of asymmetry between the right and left sides for different measures. The features ranged from zero to 48.0% for the expression of asymmetry in a direction contrary to that expected by the principles of bone remodeling and the reported hand preference. The greatest percent of misclassification occurs for non-right-handed individuals and females. There is a greater frequency of misclassification for measures that reflect function (cortical thickness, joint surface area and osteoarthritis) compared to those that are subject to functional influences only during the growth and development of the individual (gross osteometry). These results indicate that the non-dominant limb is subject to activities heavy enough to stimulate bone remodeling but not dynamic enough to be classified as 'handedness'. Based on this sample skeletal asymmetry is not a reliable, definitive marker for hand preference.
Degree ProgramGraduate College