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Ψ  The "Emotional" Nervous System

    Emotion involves the entire nervous system, of course; but, there are two parts of the nervous system that are especially significant: The Limbic system & the Autonomic nervous system.

Limbic System: The Old Brain (or how you are like an alligator!)

Four important parts:

 Hypothalamus - small structure at the base of the brain that regulates many body functions, including appetite & body temperature.
  Amygdala - an almond-shaped neural structure in the anterior part of the temporal lobe of the cerebrum; intimately connected with the hypothalamus & the hippocampus and the cingulate gyrus; as part of the limbic system it plays an important role in motivation & emotional behavior.
  Thalamus - Part of the brain through which nearly all sensory input passes to the cerebral cortex.
  Hippocampus - An area buried deep in the forebrain that helps regulate emotion & memory. The hippocampus is a part of the brain located inside the temporal lobe. The name derives from its curved shape, which supposedly resembles that of a seahorse (Greek: hippocampus).

Autonomic nervous system: (two divisions)

1. The Sympathetic division when triggered increases physiological arousal. The fight-flight response helps the body too cope with & survive threatening situations.

2. The Parasympathetic division decreases physiological arousal.

    Overall the autonomic nervous system seeks to keep the body at an optimum level: homeostasis.

General Psychology
Robert C. Gates