What are the functions of the thalamus, hypothalamus and pineal gland?

1 Answer
Dec 1, 2016

The thalamus, hypothalamus and pineal gland are a part of diencephalon .


The thalamus is believed to both process sensory information as well as relay. Each of the primary sensory relay area receives strong feedback connection from the cerebral cortex.
It also plays an important role in regular sleep and wakefulness.
A major role of the thalamus is to support the motor and language system.
Damage to the thalamus can lead to permanent coma.

The important function of hypothalamus is to link the nervous system to the endocrine system via the pituitary gland.
It also secretes neurohormones. These hypothalamic hormones stimulate or inhibit the secretion of pituitary hormones.
It maintains homeostasis in the body and regulates pH balance , temperature control, blood pressure and respiration.
It is also involved in autonomic function control, endocrine function control and motor function control.
It controls hunger , thirst and the intake of food and water, sleep and wake cycles as well as controls defensive behaviour.

Primary function of pineal gland is to produce melatonin which helps modulate sleep patterns.
It is also responsible for neurotransmitter production and maintenance of circadian rhythm.
Studies in rodents suggest that the pineal gland influences the pituitary gland secretions of sex hormones and influences the actions of recreational drugs.