A principal components analysis of human odontometrics

Edward Harris, Howard L. Bailit

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

33 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

It has long been recognized that tooth crown diameters in hominoids are all positively intercorrelated one with another. This study reports on sex‐specific correlation matrices derived from 2,650 individuals from the Solomon Islands, Melanesia. Mesiodistal and buccolingual diameters of all permanent teeth from one side are used, excluding third molars. Analysis discloses significant sex dimorphism in the strengths of the intercorrelations, with females being better integrated. Principal components analysis (PCA) provides an objective means of data reduction (shown here to be preferable to simple size summation methods) and decorrelation of the resulting linear combinations. Four components are extracted (with results being virtually identical in the two sexes) and arguments are put forth that varimax rotation to “a simpler solution” may be counterproductive. Before rotation, the four components are 1) overall size, 2) buccolingual widths contrasted with mesiodistal lengths, 3) anterior (I,C) contrasted with posterior (P,M) teeth, and 4) premolars contrasted with molars. Most of the explained (shared) variance (63%) extracted by PCA is in overall size of the dentition. There is a strong urge to view the results of these principal components analyses as reflective of biologically and genetically meaningful entities.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)87-99
Number of pages13
JournalAmerican Journal of Physical Anthropology
Volume75
Issue number1
DOIs
StatePublished - Jan 1 1988

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Principal Component Analysis
Melanesia
Tooth
Tooth Crown
Third Molar
Dentition
Bicuspid
Sex Characteristics

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Anatomy
  • Anthropology

Cite this

A principal components analysis of human odontometrics. / Harris, Edward; Bailit, Howard L.

In: American Journal of Physical Anthropology, Vol. 75, No. 1, 01.01.1988, p. 87-99.

Research output: Contribution to journalArticle

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