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Homunculus

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Homunculus

1. An exceedingly minute body which, according to the views of development held by medical scientists of the 16th and 17th centuries, was contained in a sex cell. From this preformed but infinitely small structure the human body was supposed to be developed.

See: preformation theory, animalcule.

2. The figure of a human sometimes superimposed on pictures of the surface of the brain to represent the motor or sensory regions of the body represented there.

Origin: L. Dim. Of homo, man