Nathan E Thompson

Nathan E Thompson
New York Institute of Technology | NYIT · Department of Anatomy

Ph.D. Anatomical Sciences

About

39
Publications
12,158
Reads
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299
Citations
Introduction
Nathan E Thompson currently works at the Department of Anatomy, New York Institute of Technology. Nathan does research in Paleoanthropology, Evolutionary Biology, and Biomechanics.
Additional affiliations
August 2016 - present
New York Institute of Technology
Position
  • Professor (Assistant)
Description
  • Medical Gross Anatomy Instructor
January 2014 - May 2015
Stony Brook University
Position
  • Instructor
Description
  • Rocks, Fossils and the Biology of Ancient Life; Introductory course for freshman undergraduate women in science and engineering (WISE).
January 2013 - May 2015
Stony Brook University
Position
  • Instructor
Description
  • Anatomy Core Course for Dental Residents; Lecture and dissection based advanced gross anatomy for first year dental residents.
Education
August 2006 - May 2009
Washington University in St. Louis
Field of study
  • Engineering, Anthropology

Publications

Publications (39)
Article
Full-text available
Human walking entails coordinated out-of-phase axial rotations of the thorax and pelvis. A long-held assumption is that this ability relies on adaptations for trunk flexibility present in humans, but not in chimpanzees, other great apes, or australopithecines. Here we use three-dimensional kinematic analyses to show that, contrary to current thinki...
Article
Primate vertebral formulae have long been investigated because of their link to locomotor behavior and overall body plan. Knowledge of the ancestral vertebral formulae in the hominoid tree of life is necessary to interpret the pattern of evolution among apes, and to critically evaluate the morphological adaptations involved in the transition to hom...
Article
Great apes exhibit a suite of morphological traits of the shoulder and upper thorax that have traditionally been linked to orthograde arborealism. Recently it has been proposed that these traits are instead adaptations for knuckle-walking, and more broadly, that knuckle-walking itself is an adaptation for shock absorption during terrestriality. Her...
Article
Full-text available
The origin and evolution of knuckle-walking has long been a key focus in understanding African ape, including human, origins. Yet, despite numerous studies documenting morphological characteristics potentially associated with knuckle-walking, little quantitative three-dimensional (3-D) data exist of forelimb motion during knuckle-walking. Nor does...
Article
Full-text available
Humans are the only primate that walk bipedally with adducted hips, valgus knees, and swing-side pelvic drop. These characteristic frontal-plane aspects of bipedalism likely play a role in balance and energy minimization during walking. Understanding when and why these aspects of bipedalism evolved also requires an understanding of how each of thes...
Article
Full-text available
Humans are unique among apes and other primates in the musculoskeletal design of their lower back, pelvis, and lower limbs. Here, we describe the three-dimensional ground reaction forces and lower/hindlimb joint mechanics of human and bipedal chimpanzees walking over a full stride and test whether: 1) the estimated limb joint work and power during...
Article
Human bipedalism entails high-magnitude, short-duration impact transient forces that occur every heel strike. These transient forces, or 'shock', are attenuated as they propagate up the body, and many structures have been proposed as 'shock absorbers' within the body. The medial and lateral menisci of the knee are a pair of fibrocartilaginous struc...
Preprint
Humans are unique among apes and other primates in the musculoskeletal design of their lower back, pelvis and lower limbs. Here, we describe the three-dimensional ground reaction forces and lower/hind limb joint mechanics of human and bipedal chimpanzee walking over a full stride and test whether: 1) the estimated limb joint work and power during s...
Article
Full-text available
Bipedal trackways discovered in 1978 at Laetoli site G, Tanzania and dated to 3.66 million years ago are widely accepted as the oldest unequivocal evidence of obligate bipedalism in the human lineage 1–3 . Another trackway discovered two years earlier at nearby site A was partially excavated and attributed to a hominin, but curious affinities with...
Article
Full-text available
The lateral and medial menisci are fibrocartilaginous structures in the knee that play a crucial role in normal knee biomechanics. However, one commonly cited role of the menisci is that they function as ‘shock absorbers’. Here we provide a critique of this notion, drawing upon a review of comparative anatomical and biomechanical data from humans a...
Article
Full-text available
Human bipedalism entails relatively short strides compared with facultatively bipedal primates. Unique non-sagittal-plane motions associated with bipedalism may account for part of this discrepancy. Pelvic rotation anteriorly translates the hip, contributing to bipedal stride length (i.e. the ‘pelvic step’). Facultative bipedalism in non-human prim...
Article
Full-text available
Humans diverged from apes (chimpanzees, specifically) toward the end of the Miocene ~9.3 million to 6.5 million years ago. Understanding the origins of the human lineage (hominins) requires reconstructing the morphology, behavior, and environment of the chimpanzee-human last common ancestor. Modern hominoids (that is, humans and apes) share multipl...
Article
Full-text available
Longitudinal morphological growth data of apes are incredibly difficult to obtain. Long life histories, combined with practical and ethical issues of obtaining such long‐term data have resulted in few longitudinal data sets in chimpanzees of known chronological ages. One classic, long‐term growth study of chimpanzees was that of Drs Nissen and Ries...
Article
Objectives: The cervical spine is the junction between the head and trunk, and it therefore facilitates head mobility and stability. The goal of this study is to test several predictions regarding cervical morphology and intervertebral ranges of motion. Materials and methods: Intervertebral ranges of motion for 12 primate species were collected...
Code
The P.I.M. Tool or Pressure Image Manipulation Tool, designed by Daniel Gibbons and Dr. Nathan E Thompson, is a MATLAB program designed to intake Pressure Plate data produced by emed® sensor platforms. emed®-systems produce .txt data files in a specific format that, when processed, can be visually displayed to show the dynamic pressure distribution...
Article
Full-text available
Humans are unique among apes and other primates in the musculoskeletal design of their lower back and pelvis. While the last common ancestor of the Pan-Homo lineages has long been thought to be 'African ape-like', including in its lower back and ilia design, recent descriptions of early hominin and Miocene ape fossils have led to the proposal that...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Gorillas, along with chimpanzees and bonobos, are ubiquitously described as 'knuckle-walkers.' Consequently, knuckle-walking (KW) has been featured pre-eminently in hypotheses of the pre-bipedal locomotor behavior of hominins and in the evolution of locomotor behavior in apes. However, anecdotal and behavioral accounts suggest that mou...
Article
Full-text available
Objectives: Many aspects of chimpanzee ankle and midfoot joint morphology are believed to reflect adaptations for arboreal locomotion. However, terrestrial travel also constitutes a significant component of chimpanzee locomotion, complicating functional interpretations of chimpanzee and fossil hominin foot morphology. Here we tested hypotheses of...
Article
Full-text available
Center of mass (CoM) oscillations were documented for 81 bipedal walking strides of three chimpanzees. Full-stride ground reaction forces were recorded as well as kinematic data to synchronize force to gait events and to determine speed. Despite being a bent-hip, bent-knee (BHBK) gait, chimpanzee walking uses pendulum-like motion with vertical osci...
Article
Full-text available
During terrestrial locomotion, chimpanzees exhibit dorsiflexion of the midfoot between midstance and toe-off of stance phase, a phenomenon that has been called the “midtarsal break.” This motion is generally absent during human bipedalism, and in chimpanzees is associated with more mobile foot joints than in humans. However, the contribution of ind...
Article
Full-text available
Large-scale interspecific studies of mammals ranging between 0.04-280 kg have shown that larger animals walk with more extended limb joints. Within a taxon or clade, however, the relationship between body size and joint posture is less straightforward. Factors that may affect the lack of congruence between broad and narrow phylogenetic analyses of...

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