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Unformatted text preview: Click to edit Master subtitle style The Hypothalamus Andrew MacDonald November 19th, 2009 [email protected] What is the Hypothalamus? What is it? n The hypothalmus is a small structure at the base of the brain. What is it’s main function? n Its main function is to maintain homeostasis within in the body. Why is it physiologically relevant? n It is a key player in the endocrine system (hormone’s) which are tightly associated with Functions of the Hypothalamus n The hypothalamus serves numerous functions within the body. Most of them deal with homeostatic control (adaptive and survival behaviour). 1. Control of the Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) 2. Neuroendocrine Control (posterior pituitary gland, catecholamine release from adrenal medulla) 3. Reproduction (behaviour and pituitary function) 4. Water Balance and Exchange 5. Sodium Balance and Exchange 6. Body Energy Balance and Exchange (food Intake and metabolism) 7. Drives and Emotions (e.g. feeding, attack) 8. Circadian Rhythms 9. Body Temperature Regulation IT IS GOOD TO KNOW ALL OF THESE FUNCTIONS! Hypothalamus and the ANS n The hypothalamus can regulate the ANS. It is the “head” structure in this function. n The ANS is extremely important in homeostatic control of body functions n It has two divisions n Parasympathetic (relaxation) Most ANS responses occur automatically and are not consciously thought out. Is this always the case? No! Some visceral and glandular responses can be learned and thus voluntarily controlled. Autonomic Nervous System The parasympathetic division of the ANS exits at the brain stem....
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This note was uploaded on 02/27/2010 for the course PHYSIOL 2210 taught by Professor Betts during the Spring '10 term at UWO.

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