Hypothalamus Gains Admittance Essays

1106 Words Nov 14th, 2007 5 Pages
The hypothalamus is a small, vital section of the brain located just below the thalamus; it is in charge of numerous important bodily functions. The hypothalamus is shaped like a cone and ends in the pituitary stalk, a part of the pituitary gland. It forms the major portion of the ventral region of diencephalons, and oversees autonomic and metabolic processes. The hypothalamus is the connection between the nervous system and the endocrine system, creating this link by producing and secreting neurohormones that in turn stimulate the anterior pituitary gland to secrete hormones. The hypothalamus is central in the regulation of body temperature, hunger, thirst, and in the management of emotions and sexual activity.
The hypothalamus situated
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The limbic and olfactory systems (the amygdala, the hippocampus, and the olfactory cortex) help control eating and reproduction through the hypothalamus. The thermoreceptors and the osmoreceptors in the hypothalamus are receptors that help monitor temperature and ionic balance. The hypothalamus can control every endocrine gland in the body. The hypothalamus can alter blood pressure, body temperature, metabolism, and adrenaline levels. There are two outputs that the hypothalamus uses when it becomes aware of a problem. One of the outputs it uses is sending neural signals to the autonomic system. The hypothalamus sends signals to the medulla, where the parasympathetic vagal nuclei and cell groups that descend to the spinal cord are located, which help drive the autonomic system. When the hypothalamus gains admittance to these systems, it is able to control functions such as digestion, heart rate, sweating, and vasoconstriction (when blood vessels narrow, and consequently reduce the flow of blood or create high blood pressure). The other input the hypothalamus uses is sending endocrine signals, chemical signals sent through the blood stream, to the pituitary. Large cells from the hypothalamus send axons to the posterior pituitary, which in turn releases oxytocin and vasopressin into the bloodstream. More axons are also sent by smaller cells to the base of the pituitary. There the axons discharge releasing factors into the pituitary's capillary system. This
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