Biological Anthropology

Exploring the origin of human behavior

Research Topics
■ The functional anthropology of behavior with a focus on locomotion
■ Research on human evolution from the viewpoint of phylogenetics of motion and shape
The behavioral morphology research field studies the adaptation of humans as organisms. Humans are characterized by bipedalism, environmental interaction based on dexterous fingers, and non-biological adaptations such as culture and technology due to brain development. We explore the evolutionary historical origin of humanity by analyzing the sources of human characteristics. Our main research approach, functional morphology, links anatomical mechanisms to functions and not only employs morphological measurement devices such as 3D morphological measuring instruments, stereo microscopes, and optical microscopes but also fully take advantage of biomechanical laboratory instruments such as 3D motion capture systems, electromyography, force plates, and various pressure sensors in the research. As we consider it important to collect data of primates, close relatives of humanity, to reveal the characteristics of humans, we have conducted comparative functional morphological research on the adaptation of the brain, sensory organs, muscles, and bones using a variety of primates as samples. We believe that the knowledge acquired from this research will contribute to the reconstruction of the lives of fossil species that preceded humans, thus we have actively participated in fossil excavation projects in Africa. In addition to such conventional research, we also conduct empirical studies in the functional adaptations of contemporary humans.


Associate Professor
NAKANO Yoshihiko
Assistant Professor
ITO Kota