•The diencephalon connects the cerebrum to the brainstem. It consists of the following major regions:•The thalamus is a relay station for sensory nerve impulses traveling from the spinal cord to the cerebrum. Some nerve impulses are sorted and grouped here before being transmitted to the cerebrum. Certain sensations, such as pain, pressure, and sensitivity to temperature, are also evaluated here.•The epithalamus contains the pineal gland. The pineal gland secretes melatonin, a hormone that helps regulate the biological clock (sleep-wake cycles).•The hypothalamus regulates numerous important body activities. It controls the autonomic nervous system and regulates emotion, behavior, hunger, thirst, body
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