Table 1: General function of the hypothalamus

S/N Functions Action/Center Nuclei/Parts involved
1  Control of anterior pituitary Releasing hormones Inhibiting hormones Discrete areas
2  Secretion of posterior pituitary hormones Oxytocin Antidiuretic hormone (ADH) Paraventricular nucleus Supraoptic nucleus
3 Control of adrenal cortex Corticotropin-releasing hormone (CRH) Paraventricular nucleus
4 Control of adrenal medulla Catecholamines during emotion Posterior and dorsomedial nuclei
5 Regulation of autonomic nervous system (ANS) Sympathetic Parasympathetic Posterior and lateral nuclei

Anterior nuclei

6 Regulation of heart rate Acceleration


Posterior and lateral nuclei

Preoptic and anterior nuclei

7 Regulation of blood pressure Pressor effect

Depressor effect

Posterior and lateral nuclei

Preoptic area

8 Regulation of body temperature Heat gain center

Heat loss center

Posterior hypothalamus Anterior hypothalamus
9 Regulation of hunger and food intake Feeding center

Satiety center

Lateral nucleus Ventromedial nucleus
10 Regulation of water intake Thirst center Water retention by ADH Lateral nucleus Supraoptic nucleus
11 Regulation of sleep and wakefulness Sleep


Anterior hypothalamus Mamillary body
12 Regulation of behavior and emotion Reward center

Punishment center

Ventromedial nucleus Posterior and lateral nuclei
13 Regulation of sexual function Sexual cycle Arcuate and posterior nuclei
14 Regulation of response to smell Autonomic responses Posterior hypothalamus
15 Role in circadian rhythm Rhythmic changes Suprachiasmatic nucleus

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