Genetics

Researchers illuminate the complexity of the human hypothalamus

How often do you think about your hypothalamus? Chances are that you never do. As compared to the rest of our brain, it is tiny—just the size of an almond. Yet it is our body's master control, regulating a myriad of functions ...

Psychology & Psychiatry

Chronic stress-related neurons identified

Researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden have identified a group of nerve cells in the mouse brain that are involved in creating negative emotional states and chronic stress. The neurons, which have been mapped with ...

Neuroscience

Study finds enzyme in the brain is a 'metastat' for body weight

An enzyme found in the brain acts as a major regulator of body weight, Yale researchers have discovered. In a new study, they found that removing the enzyme from neurons in a part of the brain known as the hypothalamus led ...

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Hypothalamus

The hypothalamus is a portion of the brain that contains a number of small nuclei with a variety of functions. One of the most important functions of the hypothalamus is to link the nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland (hypophysis). The hypothalamus, (from Greek ὑποθαλαμος = under the thalamus) is located below the thalamus, just above the brain stem. In the terminology of neuroanatomy, it forms the ventral part of the diencephalon. All vertebrate brains contain a hypothalamus. In humans, it is roughly the size of an almond.

The hypothalamus is responsible for certain metabolic processes and other activities of the Autonomic Nervous System. It synthesizes and secretes neurohormones, often called hypothalamic-releasing hormones, and these in turn stimulate or inhibit the secretion of pituitary hormones. The hypothalamus controls body temperature, hunger, thirst, fatigue, and circadian cycles.

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