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Structures of the diencephalon include the hypothalamus, thalamus, epithalamus, and subthalamus.

Credit: SEER Training Modules / U. S. National Institutes of Health, National Cancer Institute


The diencephalon, along with the telencephalon (cerebrum) comprise the two major divisions of prosencephalon (forebrain). Main structures of the diencephalon include the hypothalamus, thalamus, epithalamus (including the pineal gland), and subthalamus. The diencephalon relays sensory information between brain regions and controls many autonomic functions of the peripheral nervous system. It also connects structures of the endocrine system with the nervous system and works in conjunction with limbic system structures to generate and manage emotions and memories.


The diencephalon is involved in several functions of the body including:

  • Directing Sense Impulses Throughout the Body
  • Autonomic Function Control
  • Endocrine Function Control
  • Motor Function Control
  • Homeostasis
  • Hearing, Vision, Smell, and Taste
  • Touch Perception


Directionally, the diencephalon is situated between the cerebral hemispheres, superior to the midbrain.


More Information:

For additional information on the diencephalon, see:

Divisions of the Brain:


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