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The Head-Neck Sensory Motor System$
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Alain Berthoz, Werner Graf, and P. P. Vidal

Print publication date: 1992

Print ISBN-13: 9780195068207

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: March 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195068207.001.0001

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Skeletal Geometry in Vertebrates and Its Relation to the Vestibular End Organs

Skeletal Geometry in Vertebrates and Its Relation to the Vestibular End Organs

Chapter:
Chapter 17 Skeletal Geometry in Vertebrates and Its Relation to the Vestibular End Organs
Source:
The Head-Neck Sensory Motor System
Author(s):

Werner Graf

Catherine de Waele

Pierre Paul Vidal

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195068207.003.0017

The results in man and monkey came as no surprise since an erect cervical column had been considered one of the characteristics of “humanness” and a consequence of bipedalism and upright stance. Added to this, the vertical orientation of the cervical spine in man is more or less obvious from the outside. However, for the majority of mammalian quadrupeds, the body shape of the animal is misleading since the outline of the head-neck region formed by soft tissue suggests a horizontal orientation of the cervical spine. In higher vertebrates, the head is found balanced on top of the vertically oriented cervical spine. It was interpreted as providing an energy-saving balance of the head in the resting position.

Keywords:   man, monkey, bipedalism, cervical spine, head-neck region, head, energy-saving balance

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