In the first few weeks of Neurology the class has been eagerly studying and investing the time to get to understand the brain, its functions and its network in the body. The students was responsible in researching the different lobes of the brain, it’s function and how it can be damaged by either trauma or disease. Getting a clear understand of the brain is not only really interesting but it is also very beneficial as medical students since this helps us understand the engine of the body a lot more. Some of the interesting topics that came up while studying the brain was the homunculus. The homunculus can be considered as being a little human being and this little human being has helped scientists get a better understanding of the brain and the way that it connects with the different sections in the body. The homunculus came to be significant around the 16th century around the folklore and alchemy traditions and stories. The distorted model is drawn to give a better understanding of the somatosensory (the “sensory homunculus”) and the motor cortex (the “motor homunculus”). Both the motor and sensory homonculi usually appear as small men superimposed over the top of precentral or postcentral gyri for motor and sensory cortices respectively. The homunculus
The homunculus is shown with feet medial and shoulders lateral on top of both the precentral and the postcentral gyrus (for both motor and sensory). The man’s head is shown upside down in relation to the rest of the body such that the forehead is closest to the shoulders. The lips, hands, feet and the reproductive organs have more sensory neurons than other parts of the body, so the homunculus has correspondingly large lips, hands, feet, and genitals. The motor homunculus is very similar to the sensory homunculus, but it is different in many different ways. Specifically, the motor homunculus has a portion for the tongue most lateral while the sensory homunculus has an area for genitalia most medial and an area for visceral organs most lateral. Well understood in the field of neurology, this is also usually called “the little man inside the brain.” This figures shows the popular homunculus studied by scientists:
The class was also able to study the different lobes of the brain such as the frontal lobes, parietal lobes, occipital lobes, and the temporal lobes. We saw the benefits that were brought to the body from each lobe such as the individual being able to maintain short term memory that is held in the pre-cortex area and the long term memory that is usually stored in the temporal lobe. We learned that the frontal lobe was one of the most common areas in the brain that were injured when an individual got into an accident and they were not wearing a seatbelt. We were also able to get an understanding of doing executive functions is part of the parietal lobe and this is what helps us to get the important functions done. This class is showing to be one of the most interesting classes in it should remain pretty interesting throughout the year.
Rogeline Dieujuste – Teacher Assistant