homunculus

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homunculus

 [ho-mung´ku-lus]
a dwarf without deformity or disproportion of parts.

ho·mun·cu·lus

(hō-mŭngk'yū-lŭs),
1. An exceedingly minute body that, according to the views of development held by some medical scientists of the 16th and 17th centuries, was contained in a sperm or an oocyte. From this preformed but infinitely small structure, the human body was thought to be developed.
See also: preformation theory, animalcule.
2. The distorted figure of a human superimposed on an illustration of the surface of the brain; used to demonstrate those portions of the body supplied by the various motor and sensory cortical regions.
[L. dim. of homo, man]

homunculus

(hō-mŭng′kyə-ləs, hə-)
n. pl. homuncu·li (-lī′)
1. A diminutive human.
2. A miniature, fully formed individual believed by adherents of the early biological theory of preformation to be present in the sperm cell.

ho·mun′cu·lar adj.

homunculus

[hōmung′kyələs] pl. homunculi
Etymology: L, little man
1 a dwarf in whom all the body parts are proportionally developed and in which there is no deformity or abnormality.
2 (in early embryological theories of development, primarily preformation) a minute and complete human being contained in each of the germ cells that after fertilization grows from the microscopic to normal size.
3 a small anatomical model of the human form; a manikin, specifically, one believed to have been produced by an alchemist and placed into a flask.
4 (in psychiatry) a little man created by the imagination who possesses magical powers.
A schematic representation of the volume of cerebral cortex dedicated to motor—precentral/Brodman’s areas 4, 6—or sensory—postcentral/Brodman’s area 3—with respect to each corporal region. The resulting image of a (somewhat grotesque) little man has hands and a tongue that are far more prominent than the trunk and extremities, indicating their relative importance

ho·mun·cu·lus

(hō-mŭngk'yū-lŭs)
The figure of a human sometimes superimposed on pictures of the surface of the brain to represent the motor or sensory regions of the body represented there.
[L. dim. of homo, man]