Distant European populations distinct in facial morphology (no shit?)

Polak mentioned this study in a comment at Dienekes. Nothing too surprising here, but it would be nice to see more efforts of this sort. This is an abstract of a poster from the 2007 AAPA conference (pdf):
Variation in facial features among European populations measured from 3D photographs.

D.K. Liberton1, B. McEvoy2, M. Bauchet1, C.A. Hill1, J.T. Richtsmeier1, T. Frudakis3, M.D. Shriver1.
1Department of Anthropology, Pennsylvania State University, 2Smurfit Institute of Genetics, Trinity College Dublin, 3DNAPrint Genomics, Inc.

The presence of craniofacial variation among continentally described groups has been documented. However, finer-scale phenotypic variation among populations has been more difficult to determine. The purpose of this study is to use three-dimensional images to evaluate if there are significant patterns of facial difference among European populations. Besides determining the extent of regional population differences in facial morphology, this work serves as a foundation for studies involving European genetic stratification and the detection of genes that determine facial features.

The study consists of 180 adult women, aged 18-35, from four geographically discrete European regions: Warsaw, Poland (N=45); Rome, Italy (N=45); Porto, Portugal (N=45); and Dublin, Ireland (N=45). Threedimensional photographs were acquired from faces using the 3dMDface imaging system. Three-dimensional landmark coordinate data were collected from using the 3dMD Patient software and were analyzed using Euclidean Distance Matrix Analysis. Pairwise comparisons between geographic regions were performed to determine patterns of significant differences in facial morphology among the four European populations.

Our results indicate that differences in female facial morphology are symmetrical and that population differences are localized to specific facial regions. This shows that there are statistically significant differences in facial morphology among European populations which can be mapped using coordinate data generated from three-dimensional photographs. Furthermore, these results suggest that morphological differences in facial features may likely be the result of genetic differentiation among European populations.

Supported by grants: Science Foundation of Ireland, Walton Fellowship

3 comments:

Polak said...

Nice one.

Anyone have access to some of the data and/or diagrams?

n/a said...

Might try emailing the authors.

Sounds like they'll be expanding on this and I suspect we'll see something published eventually.

"Besides determining the extent of regional population differences in facial morphology, this work serves as a foundation for studies involving European genetic stratification and the detection of genes that determine facial features."

A related AAPA 2008 abstract from Liberton, Shriver, and Frudakis: Admixture mapping genes for facial features

Desmond Jones said...

Viewing this picture of Liukin, Sacramone & Johnson can the differences be any more evident? How can you miss it?