Limbic System


Translucent Brain Revealing Limbic System : Three-dimensional visualization reconstructed from scanned human data. Superior view of brain, with limbic system highlighted: fornix (pink), hippocampus (blue), amygdala (orange), thalamus (yellow), and hypothalamus (white). Crystal meth affects the limbic system, this area of the brain is responsible for emotional processing. Methamphetamine use is dangerous, and users risk numerous health issues, including stroke, cardiac arrhythmia, paranoia, hallucinations, and structural changes to the brain.

The limbic system (or paleomammalian brain) is a complex set of brain structures located on both sides of the thalamus, right under the cerebrum. It is not a separate system but a collection of structures from the telencephalon, diencephalon, and mesencephalon. It includes the olfactory bulbs, hippocampus, amygdala, anterior thalamic nuclei, fornix, columns of fornix, mammillary body, septum pellucidum, habenular commissure, cingulate gyrus, parahippocampal gyrus, limbic cortex, and limbic midbrain areas.

The limbic system supports a variety of functions including adrenaline flow, emotion, behavior, motivation, long-term memory, and olfaction. Emotional life is largely housed in the limbic system, and it has a great deal to do with the formation of memories.

Although the term only originated in the 1940s, some neuroscientists, including Joseph LeDoux, have suggested that the concept of a functionally unified limbic system should be abandoned as obsolete because it is grounded mainly in historical concepts of brain anatomy that are no longer accepted as accurate.


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