Photo-realistic statistical skull morphotypes: new exemplars for ancestry and sex estimation in forensic anthropology

Caple, Jodi and Stephan, Carl N. (2017) Photo-realistic statistical skull morphotypes: new exemplars for ancestry and sex estimation in forensic anthropology. Journal of Forensic Sciences, 62 3: 562-572. doi:10.1111/1556-4029.13314


Author Caple, Jodi
Stephan, Carl N.
Title Photo-realistic statistical skull morphotypes: new exemplars for ancestry and sex estimation in forensic anthropology
Journal name Journal of Forensic Sciences   Check publisher's open access policy
ISSN 1556-4029
0022-1198
Publication date 2017-05-01
Year available 2016
Sub-type Article (original research)
DOI 10.1111/1556-4029.13314
Open Access Status Not yet assessed
Volume 62
Issue 3
Start page 562
End page 572
Total pages 11
Place of publication Hoboken, NJ, United States
Publisher Wiley-Blackwell Publishing
Language eng
Abstract Graphic exemplars of cranial sex and ancestry are essential to forensic anthropology for standardizing casework, training analysts, and communicating group trends. To date, graphic exemplars have comprised hand-drawn sketches, or photographs of individual specimens, which risks bias/subjectivity. Here, we performed quantitative analysis of photographic data to generate new photo-realistic and objective exemplars of skull form. Standardized anterior and left lateral photographs of skulls for each sex were analyzed in the computer graphics program Psychomorph for the following groups: South African Blacks, South African Whites, American Blacks, American Whites, and Japanese. The average cranial form was calculated for each photographic view, before the color information for every individual was warped to the average form and combined to produce statistical averages. These mathematically derived exemplars-and their statistical exaggerations or extremes-retain the high-resolution detail of the original photographic dataset, making them the ideal casework and training reference standards.
Formatted abstract
Graphic exemplars of cranial sex and ancestry are essential to forensic anthropology for standardizing casework, training analysts, and communicating group trends. To date, graphic exemplars have comprised hand-drawn sketches, or photographs of individual specimens, which risks bias/subjectivity. Here, we performed quantitative analysis of photographic data to generate new photo-realistic and objective exemplars of skull form. Standardized anterior and left lateral photographs of skulls for each sex were analyzed in the computer graphics program Psychomorph for the following groups: South African Blacks, South African Whites, American Blacks, American Whites, and Japanese. The average cranial form was calculated for each photographic view, before the color information for every individual was warped to the average form and combined to produce statistical averages. These mathematically derived exemplars—and their statistical exaggerations or extremes—retain the high-resolution detail of the original photographic dataset, making them the ideal casework and training reference standards.
Keyword Biological profile
Craniofacial identification
Craniometry
Forensic science
Reference standards
Skeletal identification
Q-Index Code C1
Q-Index Status Provisional Code
Institutional Status UQ

Document type: Journal Article
Sub-type: Article (original research)
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