Behavioral and Motivational Mechanisms of the Brain—The Limbic System and the Hypothalamus
Control of behavior is a function of the entire nervous system. Even the wakefulness and sleep cycle discussed in Chapter 59 is one of our most important behavioral patterns.
In this chapter, we deal first with those mecha-/ . J nisms that control levels of activity in the different parts of the brain. Then we discuss the causes of motivational drives, especially motivational control of the learning process and feelings of pleasure and punishment. These functions of the nervous system are performed mainly by the basal regions of the brain, which together are loosely called the limbic system, meaning the "border" system.
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This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.