Extensive preclinical and clinical observations have suggested that the limbic system structures are critical in emotional behavior. Limbic structures have also been found to be important in social behavior, cognition, and autonomic responses. The limbic system, however, has extensive direct interconnections with all brain regions, and the extent to which the limbic system functions as a network itself remains to be determined. Perhaps the limbic system concept will lose its heuristic appeal as we improve our definitions of emotional states, and the roles of discrete structures and small circuits important in motivation (Kalivas, Churchill, & Romanides, 1999), fear (LeDoux, 1996), and other emotional behaviors. Alternatively, as some imaging studies suggest, we may actually confirm that emotional behaviors do not arise from the activity of single brain regions, but instead emerge from the coordinated action of many connected structures. New techniques in functional imaging and noninvasive regional brain stimulation will allow for direct testing of the limbic system construct in normal function and in psychiatric and medical disorders. Broca's lim-bic lobe, initially thought to be important by some only in olfaction, is certainly no longer ignored.

Brain Blaster

Brain Blaster

Have you ever been envious of people who seem to have no end of clever ideas, who are able to think quickly in any situation, or who seem to have flawless memories? Could it be that they're just born smarter or quicker than the rest of us? Or are there some secrets that they might know that we don't?

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