The hypothalamus may be very small, but it plays a very important role. The hypothalamus is about the size of a pearl, and it weighs about four grams in a brain that weighs on average about 1,400 grams. It directs so many important functions for the body some examples of what it controls are Autonomic function control , endocrine function control, Homeostasis, motor function control, food and water intake, body temperature, and the release of 8 major hormones.
The hypothalamus is inferioer to the thalamus. It is posterier to the optic chiasm and bordered on the sides by the temperal lobes.
Damage to the anterior hypothalamus blocks the production of ADH. This leads to a condition where the kidney fails to conserve water, this is called diabetes insipidus
About ten or eleven small, indistinct nuclei (nerve cell groups) are packed into the hypothalamus. Reflecting their complex and highly specialized functions, the cells here use several unusual ways of cell-to-cell communication. Hypothalamic neurons also receive information from other body and brain areas from electrical impulses conducted from many sensory sources (signaling pain, vision, and blood pressure, for example) that are all spread out through the body.
Cells in the anterior and posterior hypothalamic areas detect blood temperature and have connections that allow them to adjust to different body temperatures. Neural activity in the anterior area activates systems for heat loss, dilating blood vessels of the skin and causes sweating and panting. Neurons in the posterior hypothalamus help to preserve heat by constricting blood vessels of the skin, causing shivering and slows down your breathing.
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