By the same authors

From the same journal

The effect of varying jaw-elevator muscle forces on a finite element model of a human cranium

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review



Publication details

JournalAnatomical Record: Advances in Integrative Anatomy and Evolutionary Biology
DateAccepted/In press - 8 Mar 2016
DatePublished (current) - 25 Apr 2016
Number of pages37
Original languageEnglish


Finite element analyses simulating masticatory system loading are increasingly undertaken in primates, hominin fossils and modern humans. Simplifications of models and loadcases are often required given the limits of data and technology. One such area of uncertainty concerns the forces applied to cranial models and their sensitivity to variations in these forces. We assessed the effect of varying force magnitudes among jaw-elevator muscles applied to a finite element model of a human cranium. The model was loaded to simulate incisor and molar bites using different combinations of muscle forces. Symmetric, asymmetric, homogeneous and heterogeneous muscle activations were simulated by scaling maximal forces. The effects were compared with respect to strain distribution (i.e. modes of deformation) and magnitudes; bite forces and temporomandibular joint (TMJ) reaction forces. Predicted modes of deformation, strain magnitudes and bite forces were directly proportional to total applied muscle force and relatively insensitive to the degree of heterogeneity of muscle activation. However, TMJ reaction forces and mandibular fossa strains decrease and increase on the balancing and working sides according to the degree of asymmetry of loading. These results indicate that when modes, rather than magnitudes, of facial deformation are of interest, errors in applied muscle forces have limited effects. However the degree of asymmetric loading does impact on TMJ reaction forces and mandibular fossa strains. These findings are of particular interest in relation to studies of skeletal and fossil material, where muscle data are not available and estimation of muscle forces from skeletal proxies is prone to error. This article is protected by copyright. All rights reserved.

Bibliographical note

© 2016 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. This is an author-produced version of the published paper. Uploaded in accordance with the publisher’s self-archiving policy. Further copying may not be permitted; contact the publisher for details

Discover related content

Find related publications, people, projects, datasets and more using interactive charts.

View graph of relations