Anatomy Of The Limbic System And The Hypothalamus

In 1953, J. Olds and P. Milner reported that the weak electrical stimulation of specific sites, most located in the hypothalamus or in its rostral continuation, the septum, could elicit in experimental animals an internal state of pleasure or in any case what psychologists describe as a state of reward. For the first time, this work provided a basis to the claim that the hypothalamus, and more generally a continuum of brain tissue in which the hypothalamus is central, is implicated not only in endocrine and visceral functions but also in affect and motivation. I first consider the structures and connections of the brain tissue related to the hypothalamus that belong to this neuronal continuum before examining the anatomy and numerous functions of the hypothalamus.



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