What organ/gland is responsible for emotion?

1 Answer
Jul 24, 2016

The limbic system, especially the amygdala.


There is not one organ or gland that is 'responsible for' emotion. The entire brain is involved, but the signals that form emotions are integrated and interpreted by parts of the limbic system .

The limbic system of the brain is involved in emotions, emotional behavior and deeper drives e.g. motivation. Important parts of the limbic system are the hippocampus (memory and learning), (hypo)thalamus, the amygdala and specific parts of the cortex.


The amygdala is involved in the processing of all the input that are at the basis of emotions. It processes stimuli from inside and outside of the body, couples it to memories an motivation and finally tells the brain how to respond to all of this.

Responses can be:

  • arousal
  • fear
  • creating new memories (coupling emotions to circumstances)
  • emotional responses such as agression
  • hormonal secretions