The diencephalon lies above the brain stem, and embodies the thalamus and hypothalamus. In the diencephalon, the thalamus is an important relay station for sensory information for the cerebral cortex from other parts of the brain. The thalamus also interprets sensations of pain, pressure, temperature, and touch, and is concerned with some of our emotions and memory. It receives information from the environment in the form of sound, smell, and taste. The hypothalamus performs numerous important functions. These include the control of the autonomic nervous system (a branch of the nervous system involved with control of a number of body functions, such as heartbeat rate and digestion). The hypothalamus helps regulate the endocrine system and controls normal body temperature. It tells us when we are hungry, full, and thirsty. It helps regulate sleep and wakefulness, and is involved when we feel angry and aggressive.
Science EncyclopediaScience & Philosophy: Boolean algebra to Calcium PropionateBrain - Invertebrate Brain, Vertebrate Brain, Human Brain, The Brain Stem, The Diencephalon, The Cerebrum - The cerebellum