homunculus


Also found in: Dictionary, Thesaurus, Encyclopedia, Wikipedia.

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]
References in periodicals archive ?
Because the Homunculus nebula is such an iconic and visually stunning object, it has been a popular target of astronomical observations.
Furthermore, homunculus indicates certain body parts like large lips, hands, feet and genitals, moving Redha to create dances that are not only sensual but also sexual and erotic.
The connection of the homunculus in Tristram Shandy and the religious questions it raises in the novel leads indirectly to yet another echo of Sterne discernable in Nabokov's Gogol, this time a narrative device.
They suggest that female somatosensory representations may differ widely from those mapped by the homunculus, presenting evidence that the vagina, cervix and clitoris each have separate representations in the brain, and that female viscera--our insides--activate brain regions distinct from those activated by external body structures--our outsides.
Of Homunculus Born moves from the modern age's beginnings in Aristotle to future-facing questions about post-patriarchal possibilities scarcely allowed for in our time.
While the Homunculus story belongs to the realm of fantasy, British writer Aldous Huxley's utopia of human creation as described in his 1932 novel Brave New Worm often is considered to be rather realistic--at least if it is not possible right now, it is seen to be possible in the near future.
40) Therefore, Ackroyd's Renaissance thinker is not only a respectable mathematician, astronomer, engineer and geographer, but also a person who believes that he can speak with spirits and angels through a magic crystal, that he can discover the original, ancient city of London preserved intact deep below the existing one, or that he can create the homunculus, the everlasting creature that would serve as both divine illumination and guardian spirit to those whose efforts deserve it.
Choosing a life of isolation and danger over certain death, guided by the mysterious Foster, and aided by a hulking Al homunculus, these teenagers fix the timeline when rogue time travelers threaten to break it.
I quite like having a plastic homunculus of myself.
A popular theory in neuroscience literature, proposed first by David Chamberlain (1) and later by Michael Persinger, (2) is that the indusium griseum plays a functional role in the developing fetus; it is viewed primarily as the embryonic equivalent of the adult hippocampus and secondarily as the sensory homunculus of the fetus.
The only disagreement left among the pre-formationists was the location of the homunculus.
Family fun with the computer-animated homunculus with John Cusack's voice.