Homunculus II

Now, doesn’t that sound like the name of a really bad horror movie sequel? Au contraire. Yesterday I wrote about the 16th century concept that a man’s sperm consisted of microscopic fully-formed humans. Called a homunculus, one of these little guys was said to get planted inside the woman, where it would grow.

Okay, that’s weird enough, but when reading up on the subject, I came across something even more bizarre. As scientists began to figure out that some parts of the human body have more motor control and/or more sensation than others, and those parts of the body are controlled  by various parts of the brain, they drew a representation of how the human body figures in the brain, and since it was a fully formed (albeit very warped) human body within the body, they remembered the story of the homunculus, and decided to name their concept the Cortical Homunculus. They drew it like so.

1.images_brain_map_final_MotorSensoryCortex-L

And then, someone got the bright idea, based on this information, to draw what a body would look like to our brain, based on the values imposed upon it by our motor cortex and our sensory cortex, and this is what they came up with.

2.images_Cortex_Man_topographical_map_brain_Motor_sensory

Now, if that doesn’t freak you out, nothing will. I for one now feel as if my brain isn’t me, and I can’t relate to it at all. I think I need a hug.

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