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Position of hypothalamus

The hypothalamus is a gland at the base of the brain. It connects the endocrine system to the nervous system. The word hypothalamus is a Greek word which means "under the thalamus"; it is used because hypothalamus is below the thalamus, and above the brain stem.

The hypothalamus controls body temperature, hunger, thirst and circadian cycles. It is the control system that regulates the pituitary gland, the 'master gland' of the body.

The thalamus sits above the hypothalamus, and the hypothalamus sits above the pituitary gland. That area at the base of the brain down to the pituitary is the centre of neurosecretion. It is the main way the nervous system controls the hormones in our bodies.

Endocrine system
Adrenal gland - Corpus luteum - Hypothalamus - Ovaries - Pancreas - Parathyroid gland - Pineal gland - Pituitary gland - Testes - Thyroid gland - Hormone