Overview of the Limbic System


In 1878, Paul Broca defined the limbic (Latin limbus:border) lobe as the cerebral convolutions that surround the brain stem and central commissures consisting primarily of the parahippocampal and cingulate gyri. In 1937, Papez suggested the limbic lobe was part of a larger integrated system involved in emotional behavior that is now referred to as the limbic system.  Different authors have defined its components in various ways, but the main structures include the cingulate gyrus, the parahippocampal gyrus, the hippocampal formation, the hypothalamus, the septal nucleus, the amygdala, the mammillary bodies, several thalamic nuclei, the basal forebrain, olfactory structures, and the subcallosal region as well the tracts connecting them.