The Limbic System is a set of structures in the brain located on either side of the thalamus, immediately below the cerebrum. supports a number of functions, including emotions, memory, motivation and behavior. All the emotions one feels in daily life are primarily a function of the limbic system. Additionally this system influences how emotions are processed into speech and action.
The Limbic System is not a separate system, but rather a collection of brain structures. It includes (but not exclusively) the amygdalae, basal ganglia, cingulate gyrus, hippocampus, hypothalamus and thalamus. Below is a brief description of each:
- Amygdalae are the emotion centers of the brain. One particular role of the amygdalae is pain perception and modulation. (The cingulate gyrus also helps regulate emotions and pain.)
- Basal ganglia are primarily responsible for motor control, as well as contributing to motor learning, emotions, and executive functions and behavior
- Cingulate gyrus help us express our emotions through physical posture, gesture and movement.
- Hippocampus plays a major role in learning and memory (both short and long term).
- Hypothalamus is responsible for internal monitoring, as well as maintaining homeostasis in the body.
- Thalamus is responsible for maintaining consciousness, and processing information that comes in through the senses.
For more information on the Limbic System, please click here.
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