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Covered by the two cerebral hemispheres, the diencephalon is the structure of the central nervous system that is at the center of the brain.
It contains masses of gray matter that play tremendous roles in the organism such as the thalamus and the hypothalamus.
The thalamus is a nuclear complex that occupies the most part of the diencephalon. It acts essentially as a relay to the vast majority of sensory inputs that go up to the cerebral cortex. It also plays a very important rôle in movements and emotions.
The thalamus is made up of two masses of gray matter: right and left. each taking an ovoid shape. These two parts are often joined together in the center by the Interthalamic adhesion.
The thalamus consists of multiple nuclei, each of these nuclei plays a very specific role.
the thalamus marks the lateral side of the third ventricle and it is surrounded on top and front by the body and the head of the 2 lateral ventricles.
The hypothalamus; located directly below and in front of the thalamus, is much smaller in size and volume. nevertheless, its role in the body is not the least.
IN fact the hypothalamus contains several distinct nuclei that provide numerous functions including thermoregulation, Appetite and regulation of the sleep-wake cycle. It also plays a capital role in modulating the autonomic nervous system.
The hypothalamus is the real endocrine engine of the whole body. It controls the secretions of the pituitary gland, which produces the most important hormones of the body.