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Hypothalamus Anatomy

Overview

The hypothalamus is a region of the brain composed of many small nuclei with diverse functions. Located above the midbrain and below the thalamus, the hypothalamus makes up the ventral diencephalon. The diencephalon is an embryologic region of the vertebrate neural tube that gives rise to posterior forebrain structures. By synthesizing and secreting neurohormones, the nuclei of the hypothalamus act as a conduit between the nervous and endocrine systems via the pituitary gland (hypophysis), regulating homeostatic functions such as hunger, thirst, body temperature, and circadian rhythms.

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