Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Limbic System

Group of structures in the brain that function as a unit to mediate the responses associated with emotional autonomic activity as well as the internalization of conditioned responses; all of the structures involved are located below the cerebral cortex. The principal components are the hypothalamus, rhinencephalon (nosebrain), hippocampus, cingulate cortex, and orbitofrontal cortex. Chemicals released into the limbic system can sometimes override reasoning systems found in the cerebral cortex. Primate vocalizations, attention, motivation, arousal, and certain emotions and behaviors (pain, affection, submission, rage, alarm, ecstasy, attachment behavior, and surprise) seem to be controlled by these centers. Aka emotional brain.

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