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Cortical homunculus

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Basic Definition Edit

Specifically: A physical representation of the primary sensorimotor cortex, i.e., the portion of the human brain directly responsible for the movement and exchange of sense and motor information (namely touch: sensitivity, cold, heat, pain etc.) of the rest of the body.

The resulting image is a grotesquely disfigured human with diproportionately huge hands, lips, and face in comparison to the rest of the body. Because of the fine motor skills and sense nerves found in these particular parts of the body they are represented as being larger on the homunculus. A part of the body with fewer sensory and/or motor connections to the brain is represented to appear smaller.

The Cortical Homunculus is a visual representation of the concept of "the body within the brain" that one's hand or face exists as much as a series of nerve structures or a "neuron concept" as it does a physical form. This concept relates to many neuro-biological phenomena including "phantom limb".

Motor Activity Sensory Activity
Toes Toes
Ankle Ankle
Leg Leg
Knee Knee
Hip Hip
Trunk Trunk
Shoulder Shoulder
Elbow Elbow
Wrist Wrist
Fingers Fingers
Thumb Thumb
Neck Neck
Brow Brow
Eyelid Eyelid
Nose Nose
Lips Lips
Tongue Tongue
Larynx Jaw

Images (external and probably copyrighted) Edit


See Also: Homunculus

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