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A. Hypothalamus The Hypothalamus is inferior to the Thalamus, hypo- meaning below.

The Hypothalamus is responsible for controlling the autonomic functions of our bodies such as Peristalsis (contraction of the alimentary canal for food digestion), Heart contraction, and Oxygen/Carbon-Dioxide recycling in the Lungs. Our Hypothalamus also controls the function of Endocrine glands (i.e. Pituitary Gland) and the function of movement (Musco-Skeletal system). Perhaps the most important function of the Hypothalamus is maintaining Homeostasis. Homeostasis is the mechanism by which our bodies maintain a certain optimal condition, both biologically and chemically. It is the sum of all the reactions that occur in both directions, which maintain the bodys ability to exist in life sustaining condition. The hypothalamus also regulates our biological clock and manages sleep patterns as well as the water and nutrient balance in the Nephrological (Kidney) System. A variety of research methods were used to reach the above conclusions. Among these are case studies, cause and effect experiments, and correlative observations. The results of all three of these research methods were necessary to conclusively establish the relationships between the Hypothalamus and its subsequent functions. If damage occurs to the Hypothalamus than obviously the functioning of the aforementioned systems is compromised. Additionally, damage to the Hypothalamus can lead to a condition known as Hypothalamic Hamartoma. This condition is a type of lesion to tissues which causes symptoms of Epilepsy, i.e. Seizures. Research suggests that Hypothalamic Hamartoma also leads to further damage to other parts of the brain, however results are inconclusive and further testing is being conducted. Hippocampus The Hippocampus is a part of the brain responsible for Consolidation of new memories (explicit memory), Emotional Responses, and Spatial Orientation and Navigation. The Hippocampus is located adjacent to the Amygdala, within the Temporal lobes. A patient named Henry Molaison, underwent surgery to have his Temporal lobes removed to prevent epileptic seizures. As previously mentioned, the Hippocampus exists among the Temporal lobes. The patient had external memories of events before the surgery, but after his surgery, Doctors realized that Henry Molaison was failing to form, organize, and store new memories. The patient, so to say, was stuck in time. Henry Molaisons case shows just one example of what would happen if damage occurred to the Hippocampus. Additional studies have shown that subjects with significant damage to their Hippocampus have problems with spatial perception ( i.e. walking into walls, failing to catch thrown objects, etc). If a persons Hippocampus is damaged, it is out of the question for them to learn new information. Interestingly, recent experimental research has shown that aerobic exercise can increase the volume of the Hippocampus by 2% and effectively reduce age-related memory loss by 1-2 years.

B. Oxytocin Oxytocin is a neurotransmitter produced by the Hypothalamus and secreted into the bloodstream by the Posterior Pituitary Glands. In Females, Oxytocin functions in the contraction of the Uterus and increases the production of Prostaglandins that increase the magnitude of the contractions even more. Oxytocin also plays a key role in lactation. Oxytocin stimulates the movement of milk from the breast to the nipple. In Males, oxytocin can promote the movement of sperm and production of the steroid Testosterone. Experimental and Correlative Research has shown that Oxytocin is in important in the following human behaviors: Sexual arousal, Trust/Anxiety, and mother-infant bonding. Oxytocin functions as a positive-feedback system, which means that more oxytocin is released when Oxytocin is already present in the bloodstream. This is how the nipple releases milk to the baby. The baby sucking on the nipple sends signals up a chemical pathway to trigger the Pituitary glands to secrete more Oxytocin into the bloodstream, hereby opening the milk flow to the baby. The positive-feedback system promotes additional Oxytocin release and additional milk flow. When the baby stops sucking, the system is turned off. Too Much: The presence of too much Oxytocin in males can lead to Prostate enlargement. Too Little: In females, a lack of oxytocin can lead to birthing complications and problems with breastfeeding (milk-ejection). Some studies have also linked low levels of Oxytocin to Autism, Aspergers Syndrome, and Depression. Histamine Histamine is a neurotransmitter that functions in inflammatory responses and functions as a secretion molecule at a site of allergen or pathogen invasion. Histamine as a neurotransmitter signals the mobilization of Macrophages and Helper-T cells (Immune Cells) to the site of the incident (i.e. cut, bruise, etc). Histamine also provides longer-term anti-body support for the time-frame after the incident. Histamine also induces gastric secretion which produces hydrochloric acid in the stomach for the breakdown of food. Histamine is also known to keep the body awake and aware. Too Much: Excessive amounts of Histamine will lead to constant inflammation, ultra-heightened immune response (possibly of cancerous type), inability to sleep, and possibly ulceration of stomach lining. Too Little: Insufficient amounts of Histamine will leave the body prone to infection and pathogens, lowimmune response, drowsiness, and problems digesting food. Sources

Kirk I. Erikson, Michelle W. Voss, Et al. Exercise training increases size of hippocampus and improves memory. http://www.pnas.org/content/early/2011/01/25/1015950108.abstract Duqesne University Press Website. http://sepa.duq.edu/regmed/immune/histamine.html http://biology.about.com/od/anatomy/p/hippocampus.htm http://biology.about.com/od/anatomy/p/Hypothalamus.htm Dr. Jeff Green. Slidecasts on Memory and The Biology of the Mind http://www.psychologytoday.com/basics/oxytocin Society for Endocrinology. http://www.yourhormones.info/hormones/oxytocin.aspx Research Organization. http://hopeforhh.org/