Limbic System: Brain Structure that Supports Emotional Life


The Limbic System is a set of structures in the brain found on either side of the thalamus, immediately below the cerebrum. It is not a separate system, but rather a collection of brain structures.

The limbic system supports a number of functions including emotion, behavior, motivation and memory. Emotional life is mainly contained in the limbic system.

The primary structures within the system include the amygdala, basal ganglia, cingulate gyrus, hippocampus, hypothalamus and thalamus.

The amygdala is the emotion center of the brain. One particular role of the amygdala is pain perception and modulation. The cingulate gyrus also helps regulate emotions and pain. 

The hippocampus is the whole memory segment of the physiology.

The hypothalamus is responsible for internal monitoring, as well as maintaining homeostasis in the body.

The thalamus is responsible for the information that comes in through the senses. As such, the thalamus looks outward to the environment.