Difference between Hippocampus and Hypothalamus

Hippocampus

It is a vital component of vertebrates brain. Humans have two hippocampi, one on each hemisphere of the cerebral brain. It helps to consolidate information from the primary memory (short-term) to the explicit memory (long-term). Also, it consolidates spatial memory that helps in navigation.

Hippocampal disruption is seen as one of the earliest symptoms of Alzheimer’s and Dementia. This region of the brain also has glucocorticoid receptors, which makes it vulnerable to chronic stress.

Hypothalamus

Hypothalamus and Hippocampus are a vital part of the brain’s limbic system. The hypothalamus contains small nuclei that perform various functions. It links the nervous system and the endocrine system through the pituitary gland. The hypothalamic hormones inhibit or stimulate the secretion of pituitary gland hormones.

This region regulates metabolic processes and is responsible for the control of hunger, body temperature, sleep, thirst, fatigue, behaviours and circadian rhythms.

Difference between Hippocampus and Hypothalamus

Hippocampus

Hypothalamus

Location

It is in the medial temporal lobe of the cerebral cortex.

It is above the infundibulum or pituitary stalk and below the thalamus.

Functions

It regulates emotions, memory, spatial cognition and learning.

It regulates metabolic processes and is responsible for the control of hunger, body temperature, sleep, thirst, fatigue, behaviours and circadian rhythms.

Disruption

Hippocampus disruption can result in memory loss.

Hypothalamus damage can result in temperature fluctuations, insomnia, diabetes, etc.

Also see: Difference between Cerebrum and Cerebellum

Frequently Asked Questions

What is a limbic system?

The limbic system includes a set of brain components that is located below the temporal lobe (cerebrum) and on the sides of the thalamus. It controls various functions like emotion, olfaction, memory and behaviour. It includes brain components like the hippocampus, hypothalamus, amygdala, thalamus, limbic lobe, cingulate gyrus, etc.

What is episodic and working memory?

Episodic memory registers day-to-day events such as location, time, emotion and other contextual information. The process of recollection forms a vital component in episodic memory. Whereas, working memory is responsible for holding information temporarily. It is often used interchangeably with short term memory.

What is the thalamus?

It is a small structure of grey matter that is located between the midbrain and cerebral cortex. It is a symmetrical structure with left and right halves. It acts as the relay hub of the brain.

Further Reading: Functions of Thalamus

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