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The Brain and Limbic System

The Brain and Limbic System

Author: Justin Johnsen

Identify functions of structures in the brain, including the parts of the limbic system and the hindbrain.

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Terms to Know

A small, almond-shaped structure related to emotional responses in people, especially fear.


Structures of the brain at the center or core of the brain, connected directly to the spinal cord; also referred to as the hindbrain (cerebellum, pons, medulla oblongata).


The structure at the back of the brain, behind the medulla and the pons, that helps to control movement and to regulate coordination and balance.


Crescent-shaped structures on both sides of the brain, related to the formation of memories.


A smaller, circular center in front of the thalamus, involved in motivation and emotions in people.

Limbic System

Areas of the forebrain involved in emotions, motivation, and memory formation.

Localization of Function

The idea that specific areas and structures of the brain relate to certain behaviors or mental processes.

Medulla Oblongata

The area directly connected to the spinal cord; related to reflexive, involuntary body processes important to living.


The area just above the medulla and pons that transfers information between the medulla and brain, as well as the rest of the brain structures.

Reticular Activating System (RAS)

A system that heightens other areas of the cerebral cortex and keeps a person awake and alert.

Reticular Formation (RF)

A network of neurons inside the medulla related to attention and alertness.


A small, football-shaped structure central to brain; acts as conduction and switching center for sensory information being sent to the cerebral cortex.