The Limbic System

  • Thomas van Groen
  • Inga Kadish
  • Lawrence Ver Hoef
  • J. Michael Wyss

History of the Neuroanatomy of the Limbic system

The history of the anatomic term limbic for brain regions is quite extensive; Willis (1664) was the first to name the cortical regions that form the medial edge of the telencephalon as limbus (i.e., “border” in Latin), whereas Broca (1878) was the first to use the designation of this area of cortex as “Le grand lobe limbique,” or “the great limbic lobe.” Broca’s great limbic lobe comprised the gray matter areas that lay as the transition between the neocortex and the diencephalon (i.e., the cingulate, hippocampal, olfactory, and parahippocampal cortices) and that together formed a circle on the medial edge of the hemisphere (Fig. 1). The limbic lobe is rostrally connected to the olfactory bulb and is smaller in microsmatic animals and bigger in macrosmatic animals; this observation led Broca to suggest that the main function of the limbic lobe was related to olfaction. Later, several researchers expanded on this view even to the point...


Anterior Cingulate Cortex Entorhinal Cortex Limbic System Hippocampal Formation Mammillary Body 
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Copyright information

© Humana Press, Totowa, NJ 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas van Groen
    • 1
  • Inga Kadish
    • 2
  • Lawrence Ver Hoef
    • 3
  • J. Michael Wyss
    • 4
  1. 1.Department of Cell BiologyThe University of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  2. 2.Department of Cell BiologyThe University of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  3. 3.Department of Cell BiologyThe University of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA
  4. 4.Department of Cell BiologyThe University of Alabama at BirminghamBirminghamUSA

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