Page:Popular Science Monthly Volume 42.djvu/327

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THE STUDY OF MAN.

study of its development shows that the convolutioning of the cerebral hemisphere is primarily due to the connection, and different rate of growth, of the superficial layer of cells with the underlying layers of white nerve fibers; and that so far from the shape being seriously modified by the constraining influence of the surrounding embryonic skull, the form of the soft membranous brain-case is primarily molded upon the brain within it, whose shape it may however be, to some extent, a secondary agent in modifying in later growth. We have also learned that, although in another sense from that of the crude phrenology of Aristotle, Porta, or Gall, the cerebrum is not a single organ acting as a functional unit, but consists of parts, each of which has its specific province; that the increase in the number of cells in any area is correlated with an increase in the size and complexity of pattern of the convolutions of that area; and that this in turn influences the shape of the inclosing shell of membrane and subsequently of bone.

The anatomist and the physiologist have worked hand in hand in the delimitation of these several functional areas, and pathology and surgery have confirmed what experimental physiology has taught. The topography of each part of the cerebrum, so important to the operating surgeon, should be pressed into the service of the anthropologist, whose measurements of the brain-case should have definite relation to these several areas. In the discussion which is to take place on this subject, I hope that some such relationships will be taken account of. This is not the place to work out in detail how this may be done; I only desire to emphasize the fundamental principle of the method.

The second factor which determines the shape of the individual skull is the size of the teeth. That these differ among different races is a matter of common observation; thus the average area of the crowns of the upper-jaw teeth in the male Australian is 1,536 sq. mm., while in the average Englishman it is only 1,286 sq. mm., less than 84 per cent of that size.[1]

It is easy to understand how natural selection will tend to increase the size of the teeth among those races whose modes of feeding are not aided by the cook or the cutler; and how, on the other hand, the progress of civilized habits, assisted by the craft of the dentist, interferes with the action of selection in this matter among the more cultured races.

For larger teeth a more extensive alveolar arch of implantation is necessary; and as the two jaws are commensurately developed, the lower jaw of the macrodontal races exceeds that of the


  1. These and the succeeding averages are from my own measurements, taken from never less than ten individual cases.