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Penfield's homunculus

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Classification and localization of relative areas in the brain. In cartoon like drawings Penfield showed the surfaces of the brain and a proportional representation of the external parts of the body, not according to their actual size, but rather to the degree of subtlety in their movements. By indicating the relatively large proportion of the brain involved in sensitive and complex movement, particularly of the face and hands, Penfield's homunculus helped to illustrate a fundamental principle of brain organization.

The Latin word homunculus means "little man"; the phrase motor homunculus means "the little man of movement".

We thank Joseph Constantin, France, for information submitted.


  • W. G. Penfield, Herbert Henry Jasper (1906-1999):
    Epilepsy and the functional anatomy of the human brain.
    Boston, Little Brown, 1954.
Herbert Henry Jasper will be entered later.

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