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Symmetry 2018, 10(4), 117; https://doi.org/10.3390/sym10040117

Human Bodily Asymmetry Relates to Behavioral Lateralization and May not Reliably Reflect Developmental Instability

Evolutionary Ecology Group, Department of Biology, University of Antwerp, 2610 Antwerp, Belgium
Received: 23 January 2018 / Revised: 7 March 2018 / Accepted: 12 April 2018 / Published: 18 April 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Applications Based on Symmetrical Characteristics of the Human Body)
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Abstract

(1) Background: The link between behavioral lateralization and bodily asymmetry in humans is studied to investigate the reliability of fluctuating asymmetry as a measure of developmental instability; (2) Methods: Morphological asymmetries of arms and legs, obtained from 3D body scans, were correlated with different measures of behavioral lateralization; (3) Results: Observed associations were in the directions expected, showing that more asymmetric use of the body increases asymmetry, especially in the arms, and more symmetric body use appears to have a symmetrizing effect; and (4) Conclusions: The results presented here question the suitability of human bodily asymmetry in arms and legs—or at least part of them—as a measure of developmental instability. There is a need for future research that identifies regions of the body that are not affected by behavioral lateralization and can reliably reflect developmental instability. View Full-Text
Keywords: human; directional asymmetry; fluctuating asymmetry; developmental instability; behavioral lateralization human; directional asymmetry; fluctuating asymmetry; developmental instability; behavioral lateralization
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Van Dongen, S. Human Bodily Asymmetry Relates to Behavioral Lateralization and May not Reliably Reflect Developmental Instability. Symmetry 2018, 10, 117.

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