The Limbic System Defined

  • Leonard W. Hamilton


The term “limbic system,” coined in 1952 by MacLean, represents over three centuries of changing conceptual boundaries and terminology concerning a group of brain structures. The reasons for this continuing controversy are attributable to the different ways in which a set of structures can be organized conceptually. One method is simply to name each identifiable structure in the brain with no attempt to consolidate the individual units into groups. While this procedure has the advantage of eliminating controversy as to the appropriate subdivisions, the result would be chaotic. Even if there is not total agreement, general categories, such as hydrocarbons, mammals, and perhaps even the limbic system, can serve as useful concepts within their respective fields of science.


Limbic System Functional Maturity Phylogenetic Development Identifiable Structure Forebrain Structure 
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Copyright information

© Plenum Press, New York 1976

Authors and Affiliations

  • Leonard W. Hamilton
    • 1
  1. 1.Rutgers UniversityNew BrunswickUSA

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