Deep in the brain lie additional clusters of gray matter. These include the basal ganglia, which affect movement, and the thalamus and the hypothalamus (structures in the diencephalon). The thalamus processes sensory impulses and relays them to the cerebral cortex. The hypothalamus maintains homeostasis and regulates temperature, heart rate, and blood pressure. The hypothalamus affects the endocrine system and governs emotional behaviors such as anger and sexual drive. Hormones secreted in the hypothalamus act directly on the pituitary gland.
In contrast, note the internal capsule, a white matter structure where mye-linated fibers converge from all parts of the cerebral cortex and descend into the brainstem. The brainstem, which connects the upper part of the brain with the spinal cord, has three sections: the midbrain, the pons, and the medulla.
Consciousness depends on the interaction between intact cerebral hemispheres and an important structure in the diencephalon and upper brainstem, the reticular activating (arousal) system.
The cerebellum, which lies at the base of the brain, coordinates all movement and helps maintain the body upright in space.
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