limbic system

supports many different functions, including emotion, behaviour, motivation, long-term memory, and olfaction.[1] It is the part of the brain involved when it comes to behaviours we need for survival: feeding, reproduction and caring for our young, and fight or flight responses.

  • It combines higher mental functions and primitive emotion into a single system often referred to as the emotional nervous system. It is not only responsible for our emotional lives but also our higher mental functions, such as learning and formation of memories. The limbic system is the reason that some physical things eg eating, seem so pleasurable to us, and the reason why some medical conditions, such as hypertension, are caused by mental stress.
  • There are several important structures within the limbic system: the amygdalahippocampusthalamushypothalamusbasal ganglia, and cingulate gyrus.[2]
  • The limbic system is among the oldest parts of the brain in evolutionary terms: it can be found in fish, amphibians, reptiles and mammals.
  • The pleasure center is located in the limbic system. It is involved in sexual arousal and in the “high” derived from certain recreational drugs.[3]
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