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For nearly 90 years, notions of the brain have been inextricably associated with a homunculus that has become embedded within medical education as the "precise" representation of rolandic cortical function. We sought to define the history, evolution, accuracy, and impact of this pictorial means of illustrating cortical representation. We mathematically defined the evolutionary accuracy of appropriate homunculi using image analysis techniques for all points defined by Penfield, Boldrey, Rasmussen, Jasper, and Erickson, calculating perpendicular distances and defining areas and distributions of rolandic and sylvian regions labeled for sensory and motor activity with comparison to all homunculi. Prerolandic sensory representation composed 13%-47% of total sensory area (mean 29%); postrolandic motor representation composed 15%-65% of total motor area (mean 31%). Discrepancy between cortical "perpendicular" length attributed to a particular function on 1937 diagrams was greater than that attributed on the 1950 homunculus (motor: mean 74%, range 63%-96%; sensory: mean 66%, 17%-92%) (P<.05). The homunculus, if truly drawn according to cortical mapping evidence, could never have been recognized as near humanoid, yet it has attained epic educational and practical longevity.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: World neurosurgery
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A generic concept reflecting concern with the modification and enhancement of life attributes, e.g., physical, political, moral and social environment; the overall condition of a human life.
The origin of life. It includes studies of the potential basis for life in organic compounds but excludes studies of the development of altered forms of life through mutation and natural selection, which is EVOLUTION.
The vital life force in the body, supposedly able to be regulated by acupuncture. It corresponds roughly to the Greek pneuma, the Latin spiritus, and the ancient Indian prana. The concept of life-breath or vital energy was formulated as an indication of the awareness of man, originally directed externally toward nature or society but later turned inward to the self or life within. (From Comparison between Concepts of Life-Breath in East and West, 15th International Symposium on the Comparative History of Medicine - East and West, August 26-September 3, 1990, Shizuoka, Japan, pp. ix-x)
The process by which life began.
Typical way of life or manner of living characteristic of an individual or group. (From APA, Thesaurus of Psychological Index Terms, 8th ed)