Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Homunculus

  • Theslee Joy DePieroEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_458

Definition

A homunculus is a pictorial representation of the motor areas of the precentral gyrus controlling voluntary movement in the human brain. Each body part is represented by a drawing of that part, scaled to reflect the proportion of the motor strip dedicated to controlling it. Large parts of the motor strip control the larynx, lips, face, thumb, and individual fingers. Much smaller parts control the proximal arm, trunk, leg, and foot, giving the homunculus (“little man”) a distorted appearance. The larynx is closest to the Sylvian fissure, the shoulder and hips at the superior surface of the hemisphere, and the legs, feet, and urogenital control on the medial surface of the hemisphere.

Cross-References

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Braintree Rehabilitation HospitalBoston University School of MedicineBostonUSA