The limbic system is a complex set of structures that lies on both
sides and underneath the thalamus, just under the cerebrum.
The Limbic system is the emotional control center of the brain.
It initially evolved to manage 'fight' or 'flight' chemicals necessary
for survival in early mammals. In general terms it refers to the
brain region associated with emotion, memory and behavior.
The Limbic System operates by influencing the endocrine system
and the autonomic nervous system and is also tightly connected to
the prefrontal cortex.This connection is seen by some scientists
as relating to the pleasure obtained from solving problems.
The limbic system [Paleomammalian brain] is a set of brain structures
Hippocampus - involved in long term memory
Amygdala - involved in signaling the cortex
of motivationally significant stimuli such as those related to
the acquisition, storage, and expression of fear memory. It is
responsible for controlling aggression.
Hypothalamus - regulates the autonomic nervous
system via hormone production and release, working to restore
the body to equalibrium. For instance, a protein called leptin
released by fat cells when we overeat is sensed by the hypothalamus
and responds by decreasing appetite. It regulates blood pressure,
heartrate, breathing, digestion, sweating, and all the sympathetic
and parasympathetic functions.
Cingulate gyrus - part of the cerebrum that
lies closest to the limbic system, provides a pathway from the
thalamus to the hippocampus, focusing attention on emotionally
significant events, and for associating memories to smells and
Limbic cortex - which support a variety of
functions including emotion, behavior, long term memory, and olfaction