Wall Lab

Mathematical Modeling of Occlusal Contacts During the Power Stroke

This is a collaborative project to generate new variables that measure how the potential for puncture, shear, and crush along a toothrow in functional occlusion changes depending on the relative positions of the upper and lower dentition throughout the tooth-tooth contact period of the power stroke of mastication.  It brings together functional morphologists and mathematicians to generate novel computational algorithms to describe tooth movements during the power stroke and quantify relationships among tooth surface structures.  The “occlusal energy” variables will be used to evaluate  occlusal morphology in relation to diet in extant and extinct primates.  Collaborators on this project are Ingrid Daubechies, Doug Boyer, Yaron Lipman, Liz St. Clair, Jonathan Perry, Tong Wu, and Siobhan Cooke.