Event Title

A Pedagogical Project on the Masticatory Biomechanics P. boisei

Location

Taylor 405, Madison Union, JMU

Start Date

4-6-2019 9:00 AM

Description

This project describes a new technique for making inexpensive, student-operated models of the hominin masticatory apparatus to allow students to investigate how changes in prognathism can affect bite force. The functional models mimic the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and have adjustable 3D printed teeth that change the “prognathism” (load arm length) and therefore the bite force capability. Students adjusted the teeth to different specifications and measured the produced bite force. Following this they created a graph to illustrate how the load arm length affected bite force capability. The project was used in an undergraduate paleoanthropology class to help teach concepts regarding the differences in masticatory biomechanics of Paranthropus boisei and Homo sapiens. Following the use of the models, students were given a survey to gauge their reactions to the exercise. Exploring these techniques allows us to improve pedagogy in the field of anthropology while training the next generation of anthropologists.

Presentation Type

Poster

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Apr 6th, 9:00 AM

A Pedagogical Project on the Masticatory Biomechanics P. boisei

Taylor 405, Madison Union, JMU

This project describes a new technique for making inexpensive, student-operated models of the hominin masticatory apparatus to allow students to investigate how changes in prognathism can affect bite force. The functional models mimic the temporomandibular joint (TMJ) and have adjustable 3D printed teeth that change the “prognathism” (load arm length) and therefore the bite force capability. Students adjusted the teeth to different specifications and measured the produced bite force. Following this they created a graph to illustrate how the load arm length affected bite force capability. The project was used in an undergraduate paleoanthropology class to help teach concepts regarding the differences in masticatory biomechanics of Paranthropus boisei and Homo sapiens. Following the use of the models, students were given a survey to gauge their reactions to the exercise. Exploring these techniques allows us to improve pedagogy in the field of anthropology while training the next generation of anthropologists.