Psych M.D. - Hypothalamus


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Term: Hypothalamus
Definition (Myers): A neural structure lying below (hypo) the thalamus; it directs several maintenance activities (eating, drinking, body temperature), helps govern the endocrine system via the pituitary gland, and is linked to emotion. 1
Definition (alternative): A system under the thalamus that is in charge of activities such as eating and drinking, and body temperature. The hypothalamus influences people's emotions the most. The pituitary gland is controlled by the hypothalamus, therefore the endocrine system is also influenced by the hypothalamus. 1
Contextual explanation: The hypothalamus triggers autonomic nervous system activity. The lateral hypothalamus brings on hunger. When the lateral hypothalamus is stimulated well-fed animals would begin to eat, however, when destroyed even starving animals have no interest in food. The ventromedial hypothalamus depresses hunger. When stimulated animals stop eating, but when destroyed an animal’s stomach and intestines will process food more rapidly, causing it to eat more often and to become extremely fat. 1
Related terms and concepts: 1
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Hypothalamus4
Related websites:
Sources:
  1. Myers, D. G. (2007). Exploring Psychology Seventh Edition. New York: Worth.
  2. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PMrPlCDGUwo
  3. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=s1sZ47s8h_M
  4. Kalat, J. W.. "Waking and Sleeping." Intro to Biological Psychology. 22 Oct. 2009 <http://web.bvu.edu/faculty/ferguson/Course_Material/BioPsych/Chpt9_Sleep_Dreams.html>.
Edited by: Soobin
Date of last edit: October 20, 2009



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