Aida Gomez-Robles

Aida Gomez-Robles
University College London | UCL · Department of Anthropology and Department of Genetics, Evolution and Environment (GEE)

PhD

About

62
Publications
14,588
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2,588
Citations
Citations since 2016
32 Research Items
1615 Citations
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250
2016201720182019202020212022050100150200250

Publications

Publications (62)
Article
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Significance The evolution of the brain and of posterior teeth seem to follow parallel trends in hominins. Larger brain size is associated with reduced premolars and molars, but this association is not observed in all hominin species. We have evaluated this association in a quantitative way by measuring lineage-specific rates of dental and cerebral...
Article
New fossil findings demonstrate that the diminutive hominin Homo floresiensis lived on the Indonesian island of Flores at least 700,000 years ago, and may point to its rapid dwarfism from the larger Homo erectus. See Letters p.245 & p.249
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Models based on developmental mechanisms described in mice and shared by most mammals are shown to accurately predict tooth size in extinct hominins, and can explain the small third molars in our species. See Letter p.477
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Significance Despite decades of research, we still have a very incomplete understanding of what is special about the human brain compared with the brains of our closest fossil and living relatives. Parsing the genetic versus environmental factors that govern the structure of the cerebral cortex in humans and chimpanzees may shed light on the evolut...
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Significance The identity of the last common ancestor of Neanderthals and modern humans is a controversial issue. This debate has been often addressed by means of descriptive analyses that are difficult to test. Our primary aim is to put questions about human evolution into a testable quantitative framework and to offer an objective means to sort o...
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Mountain gorillas are particularly inbred compared to other gorillas and even the most inbred human populations. As mountain gorilla skeletal material accumulated during the 1970s, researchers noted their pronounced facial asymmetry and hypothesized that it reflects a population-wide chewing side preference. However, asymmetry has also been linked...
Article
Objectives Molar crenulation is defined as the accessory pattern of grooves that appears on the occlusal surface of many mammalian molars. Although frequently used in the characterization of species, this trait is often assessed qualitatively, which poses unavoidable subjective biases. The objective of this study is to quantitatively test the varia...
Article
Objectives: We provide the description and comparative analysis of all the human fossil remains found at Axlor during the excavations carried out by J. M. de Barandiarán from 1967 to 1974: a cranial vault fragment and eight teeth, five of which likely belonged to the same individual, although two are currently lost. Our goal is to describe in deta...
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Objectives We provide the description and comparative analysis of six new teeth from the site of La Ferrassie. Our goal is to discuss their taxonomic attribution, and to provide an updated inventory of Neandertal and modern human remains from La Ferrassie in their associated archeological context. Materials and methods We use external and internal...
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The origin of Neanderthal and modern human lineages is a matter of intense debate. DNA analyses have generally indicated that both lineages diverged during the middle period of the Middle Pleistocene, an inferred time that has strongly influenced interpretations of the hominin fossil record. This divergence time, however, is not compatible with the...
Article
The Sima de los Huesos (SH) endocranial sample includes 16 complete or partial endocasts corresponding to European Middle Pleistocene hominins. Different anatomical and molecular studies have demonstrated that these hominins are phylogenetically related to Neanderthals, thus making them the earliest unquestionable representatives of the Neanderthal...
Article
Nonhuman primates, and great apes in particular, possess a variety of cognitive abilities thought to underlie human brain and cognitive evolution, most notably, the manufacture and use of tools. In a relatively large sample (N = 226) of captive chimpanzees (Pan troglodytes) for whom pedigrees are well known, the overarching aim of the current study...
Chapter
Geometric morphometric techniques are extensively used in paleontology and evolutionary biology to describe and quantify shape variation. These approaches, however, are rarely used in neuroscience. Approaches emphasizing qualitative anatomical description and volumetric measurements of brain structures dominate evolutionary neuroscience, whereas au...
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ELife digest The brains of mammals consist of the same basic structures, but each of these structures varies from one species to the next. A given structure may be larger in one species than another, for example. It may contain different numbers or sizes of cells. It may even have different connections to other brain regions. By comparing individua...
Data
phylogenetic ancova procedures for relative cerebellum size, using the regimes as identified by Bayesian reversible-jump estimation of multi-optima OU models (SI1) as groups.
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Objectives: Although integration studies are important to understand the evolution of organisms' traits across phylogenies, vertebral integration in primates is still largely unexplored. Here we describe and quantify patterns of morphological integration and modularity in the subaxial cervical vertebrae (C3-C7) in extant hominines incorporating th...
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Studies of brain evolution tend to focus on differences across species rather than on variation within species. A new study measures and compares intraspecific variation in macaque and human brain anatomy to explore the effect that short-term diversity has on long-term evolution.
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Human behavior is shaped by social learning to an extent that is unrivaled in the natural world. What neurobiological changes have occurred in human evolutionary history that have enabled this remarkable cultural capacity? Human brain anatomy and function have evolved to be highly responsive to experience from the environment, especially the milieu...
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Objectives: We describe a hominin permanent lower left third premolar unearthed in 1997 at Walou Cave (Belgium), found in direct association with a Mousterian lithic industry, in a layer directly dated to 40-38,000 years BP. Materials and methods: The taxonomical attribution of the tooth is addressed through comparative morphometric analyses, an...
Article
(Current Biology 27, 714–720; March 6, 2017) In this article, we unintentionally omitted to expand on a citation of previously published results. In the caption of Figure 2, we stated that “F and p values indicate the significance of a phylogenetic ANCOVA testing for intercept differences between humans and other primates (see also Smaers and Rohlf...
Article
One of the enduring questions that has driven neuroscientific enquiry in the last century has been the nature of differences in the prefrontal cortex of humans versus other animals [1]. The prefrontal cortex has drawn particular interest due to its role in a range of evolutionarily specialized cognitive capacities such as language [2], imagination...
Article
Although it has been claimed that marsupials possess a lower density of isocortical neurons compared with other mammals, little is known about cross-cortical variation in neuron distributions in this diverse taxonomic group. We quantified upper layer (layers II-IV) and lower layer (layers V-VI) neuron numbers per unit of cortical surface area in th...
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Human brains are markedly asymmetric in structure and lateralized in function, which suggests a relationship between these two properties. The brains of other closely related primates, such as chimpanzees, show similar patterns of asymmetry, but to a lesser degree, indicating an increase in anatomical and functional asymmetry during hominin evoluti...
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Why are humans so different from other primate species? What makes us so capable of creating language, art and music? The specializations in human brain anatomy that are responsible for our unique behavioral and cognitive traits evolved over a very short period of evolutionary time (between six and eight million years). Recent evidence suggests tha...
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Different brain components can evolve in a coordinated manner or they can show divergent evolutionary trajectories according to a mosaic pattern of variation. Understanding the relationship between these brain evolutionary patterns, which are not mutually exclusive, can be informed by the examination of intraspecific variation. Our study evaluates...
Article
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The study of hominin brain evolution relies mostly on evaluation of the endocranial morphology of fossil skulls. However, only some general features of external brain morphology are evident from endocasts, and many anatomical details can be difficult or impossible to examine. In this study, we use geometric morphometric techniques to evaluate inter...
Article
The recent application of microtomographic techniques to dental morphological studies has revealed an untapped source of biological information about extinct and extant human populations. In particular, this methodology has helped to characterize internal dental structures (enamel-dentine junction, pulp chamber, and radicular canals), maximizing th...
Article
As the most common and best preserved remains in the fossil record, teeth are central to our understanding of evolution. However, many evolutionary analyses based on dental traits overlook the constraints that limit dental evolution. These constraints are diverse, ranging from developmental interactions between the individual elements of a homologo...
Article
The aim of this study is to describe the morphology of the roots and root canals of permanent lower second premolars (LP4s) with fully developed roots of five hominin groups: Homo sp. (ATE9-1 specimen) from Atapuerca-Sima del Elefante locality, H. antecessor (ATD6-4 and ATD6-125) from Atapuerca-Gran Dolina TD6 locality, H. heidelbergensis from Atap...
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The systematic excavation of the Sima de los Huesos (SH) site in Sierra de Atapuerca (Burgos, Spain) has yielded the largest hominin collection worldwide for the Middle Pleistocene. The dental sample now consists of more than 500 teeth that provide exceptional opportunities to define the dental morphological pattern of a Middle Pleistocene populati...
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This paper continues the series of articles initiated in 2006 that analyse hominin dental crown morphology by means of geometric morphometric techniques. The detailed study of both upper premolar occlusal morphologies in a comprehensive sample of hominin fossils, including those coming from the Gran Dolina-TD6 and Sima de los Huesos sites from Atap...
Article
We present a detailed morphological comparative study of the hominin mandible ATE9-1 recovered in 2007 from the Sima del Elefante cave site in Sierra de Atapuerca, Burgos, northern Spain. Paleomagnetic analyses, biostratigraphical studies, and quantitative data obtained through nuclide cosmogenic methods, place this specimen in the Early Pleistocen...
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Geometric morphometric techniques may offer a promising methodological approach to analyze evolutionary novelties in a quantitative framework. Nevertheless, and despite continuous improvements to this methodology, the inclusion of novel features in these studies presents some difficulties. In the present study, different methods to explicitly inclu...
Chapter
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We present a revision of the main features withphylogenetic interest observed in the human fossil remains recovered from the Aurora Stratum of the TD6 level, Gran Dolina site (Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain) that have been assigned to Homo antecessor. Our aim is to test the hypothesis of a possible relationship between this species and the European Mid...
Article
Here we present a detailed palaeopathological study of the hominin mandible ATE9-1 found at the Sima del Elefante site (TE), Sierra de Atapuerca, Spain. This fossil represents the earliest hominin remains from Western Europe with an age of ca. 1.3 Ma. The specimen displays several dento-gnathic lesions; the antiquity and geographic location of this...
Article
A recent evaluation of upper first molar (M¹) crown size and cusp proportions in the genus Homo (Quam et al. 2009) describes Homo antecessor as maintaining a primitive pattern of cusp proportions, similar to that identified in australopithecines and the earliest members of the genus Homo. These results contrast with those of Gómez-Robles et al. (20...
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Here we present data concerning the pattern of dental development derived from the microcomputed tomography (microCT) study of a recently discovered immature hominin mandible with a mixed dentition recovered from the TD6 level of the Gran Dolina Lower Pleistocene cave site in Sierra de Atapuerca, northern Spain. These data confirm our previous resu...
Article
This article is the third of a series that explores hominin dental crown morphology by means of geometric morphometrics. After the analysis of the lower second premolar and the upper first molar crown shapes, we apply the same technique to lower first premolar morphology. Our results show a clear distinction between the morphology seen in earlier h...
Article
We present the description of a new mandibular specimen, ATD6-113, recovered in 2006 from the TD6 level of the Gran Dolina cave site in Sierra de Atapuerca, northern Spain. A detailed study of the lithostratigraphy of the top sequence of this level, the section from where all human remains have been recovered so far, is also presented. We have obse...
Article
The systematic excavation of the Dmanisi site (Republic of Georgia) has provided the earliest evidence of hominins outside Africa, dating back to ca. 1.8Ma. The analysis of the hominin remains has mainly focused on the morphology of the crania and mandibles. We present the first detailed morphological analysis and comparison of the Dmanisi teeth. T...
Article
Recent studies have revealed interesting differences in upper first molar morphology across the hominin fossil record, particularly significant between H. sapiens and H. neanderthalensis. Usually these analyses have been performed by means of classic morphometric methods, including the measurement of relative cusp areas or the angles defined betwee...
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A common assumption in the evolutionary scenario of the first Eurasian hominin populations is that they all had an African origin. This assumption also seems to apply for the Early and Middle Pleistocene populations, whose presence in Europe has been largely explained by a discontinuous flow of African emigrant waves. Only recently, some voices hav...
Chapter
The Sima de los Huesos (SH) and Gran Dolina-TD6 sites in Sierra de Atapuerca (Spain) have each yielded an impressive fossil hominin sample representing Middle Pleistocene and Late Lower Pleistocene European populations, respectively. Paleontological evidence, paleomagnetic analyses, and radiometric dates (U/Th) suggest an interval of 400 to 500 ky...
Article
We present a comparative study of the Tighennif (Algeria) and Gran Dolina-TD6 (Spain) hominin mandibles, which represent two geographically near and contemporaneous populations separated by the Mediterranean sea, in order to test the hypothesis that these populations belong to the same evolutionary lineage, as it has been suggested by some authors....

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