Tucked deep inside the brain, this gland is an important supervisory center, regulating many body functions. It is important for longevity and coordinates the entire endocrine system, especially in connection with the pituitary. The hypothalamus is located immediately below the thalamus at the center of the brain, and controls many automatic functions of the body. This means it has the power to govern the autonomic (automatic or subconscious) nervous system. The hypothalamus also controls pituitary output by secreting specific chemicals to the pituitary's front lobe. Despite its importance in maintaining homeostasis, the hypothalamus in humans accounts for only 1/300 of total brain weight, and is about the size of an almond.
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