Limbic system

The limbic system is a complex set of structures located on both sides of the thalamus, just below the brain. It includes structures such as the hypothalamus, hippocampus, tonsils, and many other nearby areas. It is considered the main responsible for our emotional life, and has much to do with our memories, in addition it participates especially when it comes to behaviors that we need to develop for our survival such as feeding, reproduction and fight or flight responses.

What is the limbic system?

The limbic system is a set of structures of the brain that are connected to each other and which has as a function the regulation of emotional states or instincts, is the center of all emotions, what we link with the irrational.

Characteristics of the limbic system

The main features of the limbic system are as follows:

History of the limbic system

The first time the term was used was in 1878 by the doctor Paul Broca who used it to refer to an area located at the bottom edge of the pineal area. In 1890, Henry Turner called the parts of the limbic system as the nasal encephalon and later, in 1937, James Papez included more structures and even introduced the term limbic brain.

The concept of the limbic system was finally expanded by scientists such as Goldar, Heimer and Nauta. In psychology, during the twentieth century, the system has been considered as the subconscious and thinking system of the human being.


The limbic system can be found deep within the brain, below the cerebral cortex and on the brain stem.


The parts of the limbic system are as follows:


The limbic system is responsible for creating autonomous responses and emotions. It intervenes in the creation of responses to situations that are considered as threats by increasing heart rate, breathing and blood pressure. Participates in the creation of fear response by stimulating the hypothalamus and amygdala.

Another of its functions is the participation in the creation of the emotional memory, in the acquisition, maintenance and elimination of phobias and to facilitate us the survival, it also regulates the behaviors to feed and the appetite, and the olfactory system of the human body.

Diseases of the limbic system

Some of the diseases that can occur in the limbic system are the following:

Written by Gabriela Briceño V.

How to cite this article?

Briceño V., Gabriela. (2019). Limbic system. Recovered on 23 February, 2024, de Euston96:

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