Functions of the Hypothalamus animation

The hypothalamus consists of a number of areas that control the basic drives-hunger, thirst and sex-as well as the internal environment of the body. It is also concerned with emotions and the sensations of pleasure and, possibly, with the sensations of pain and "displeasure". The posterior area controls sexual drives and, therefore, the ability to reproduce the species. The anterior areas control thirst and the drive to find water. The supraoptic nuclei are also concerned with the thirst drive. The preoptic nucleus is the body's thermostat and functions to control internal body temperature. The ventromedial nucleus, or "appestat," controls the hunger drive. The dorsomedial nucleus controls aggressive behavior. The dorsal area is thought to be the human "pleasure center."

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