Limbic system

Last revised by Daniel J Bell on 30 Jul 2021

The limbic system is a complex system that consists mainly of the limbic lobe, cortical areas and subcortical nuclei that have connections to the limbic lobe.

Key structures of the limbic system include:

The limbic system also involves connections with the midbrain and olfactory system

History and etymology

It was first called "le grand lobe limbique" by Pierre Paul Broca (1824-1880), a French physician, in 1878 3,4. Broca believed that the main role of the "limbic lobe" was the perception of smell.

Limbic is Latin for "border". In this case, the border is between the neocortex and the subcortical structures (diencephalon).

Related pathology

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Cases and figures

  • Figure 1: annotated MRI
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  • Figure 2: hippocampus and parahippocampal gyrus
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