There is more than one meaning of the word homunculus. But the main point that they all meet is in the form of a small size human figure. The word homunculus means “little man” or “manly” in Latin. When we say “what is a Homunculus”, we come across more than one meaning.
Homunculus in Alchemy alchemy; emerged as the premise of the science of chemistry. Alchemists were concerned with the interactions of matter and their consequences. The most important points that distinguish alchemy from being science; that they were trying to discover an imaginary object called a stone of philosophy that would turn their worthless mines into gold, find the potion of immortality and make them do it. Alchemy was also interested in human formation. At that time it was believed that the sperm carried a miniature person in it, that this primitive form of human was transmitted to the female body during sexual intercourse and grew up there. Therefore, in the light of the common patriarchal thought of the time, there was no need for a female individual for human birth, the female was only needed to grow the body by feeding it in it. Alchemists have tried to create only sperm. Of course, there is no exact information as to whether it was produced, or even if the alchemists claim to have come out.
Homunculus Recipe in AlchemyOne of the most famous people who think about it is Paracelsus, who lived in the 16th century and played an important role in laying the foundations of modern medicine. This element has a homunculus recipe that floats a lot on the Internet, and here is a brief summary:This recipe starts with the sperm being left to rot in an airtight bottle with decayed horse manure for forty days, and then it is said that there will be movement in this mixture. The result is a living creature that exists but is in miniature dimensions and transparent, with a miniature form of human organs. After this stage, as long as the animal is fed with human blood every day for another 40 days, it eventually becomes a full baby. The only difference from a real baby is that it is smaller.
This formula has different narratives and attributes to different nations. It is undoubtedly a known fact today that both sexes are required to continue this generation of living things with sexual reproduction. Sperm carries only heredity material. When combined with the egg, it combines its inheritance material with its, resulting in the emergence of a high-potential cell called zygote, mostly stem cells. This zygote is the most basic form of the living embryo, hence the living individual, and mitosis gradually turns into that form by division. However, due to the roles that male and female individuals have taken over and overturned one over the other throughout human history, patriarchy prevailed in today’s developed civilizations until modern science developed.
The Meaning of Homunculus Concept in Neurology
So what is homunculus in terms of modern science? The scientific meaning of this concept has a completely different definition. When regions where the organs in the body are controlled voluntarily in the brain, a strip appears in the up – down direction. This is called the motor cortex. As is known, the brain consists of two hemispheres, and the right hemisphere controls the left part of the body, while the left hemisphere directs the right part. Therefore, there are two symmetrical motor cortex sections. These hemispheres are connected to each other with weak points and when they are divided in the middle, it is seen that these strips go down in the middle parts of the brain. An interesting ratio is noticeable on the motor cortex when the organs are marked on the regions in which they are represented. Roughly, the lower parts of the outer part include the larynx, the tongue over it, the face on it, the facial expressions, then the hand, and then the rest of the body and the regions towards the middle of the brain. The section on the motor cortex for hands is much larger than the others. We enter the reason for this later.
Motor cortex, sensory cortex and homunculus
When a figure with organs represented according to the areas on this strip in the brain is drawn, it is called homunculus. This figure is exaggeratedly larger than his body, and his head and tongue are equally large, even though he cannot match his height, and the rest of his body appears as a person who is too small and thin.
Motor and Sensory HomunculusOf course, there is not only one homunculus that appears as a representation of regions in the brain. Right next to the motor cortex, there is another strip called sensory cortex. This region controls the perceptions from the same organs. The name of the previous homunculus is referred to as “motor homunculus”, while its name is called “sensory homunculus”. The hands of this example are not as big as the motor homunculus, and although there is a huge gap between the human body and the human body, it is closer to the human body than the motor homunculus. Of course, the homunculus drawn in this way are living things that cannot survive physically and cannot survive. These are only figures created in the human brain as a representation of muscle controls and perceptions.
Let’s take a look at the size of the hands. Hands are of great importance in human evolution. The development of humanity and its independence from nature can be entirely in their hands, because man is the only animal that makes extensive tools and uses. Apart from that, a person can develop a tool by learning. Therefore, it is very ordinary for hands to be too large in a human homunculus.There is no rule to create a homunculus only for man. This method can also be applied for animals.
Although the drawings in this picture are not completely correct, they can be used to give an idea. These are a drawing of the sensory homunculus of different animals. In the example of the rabbit, it seems that the chin is extremely large compared to the rest of the body. Although the cat looks more proportional than the rabbit example, the disproportion still continues due to the size of the head and legs. The most consistent ratios in the example are the monkey homunculus.