Visualization and quantification of mimetic musculature via DiceCT
Digital dissection, Facial expression, Lemuroidea, Muscle volume
The muscles of facial expression are of significant interest to studies of communicative behaviors. However, due to their small size and high integration with other facial tissues, the current literature is largely restricted to descriptions of the presence or absence of specific muscles. Using diffusible iodine-based contrast-enhanced computed tomography (DiceCT) to stain and digitally image the mimetic mask of Eulemur flavifrons (the blue-eyed black lemur), we demonstrate—for the first time—the ability to visualize these muscles in three-dimensional space and to measure their relative volumes. Comparing these data to earlier accounts of mimetic organization with the face of lemuroidea, we demonstrate several novel configurations within this taxon, particularly in the superior auriculolabialis and the posterior auricularis. We conclude that DiceCT facilitates the study these muscles in closer detail than has been previously possible, and offers significant potential for future studies of this anatomy.
Dickinson, E., Atkinson, E., Meza, A., Kolli, S., Deutsch, A., Burrows, A., & Hartstone-Rose, A. (2020). Visualization and quantification of mimetic musculature via DiceCT. PeerJ, 2020 (6). https://doi.org/10.7717/peerj.9343