Role of the hypothalamus

The hypothalamus in the brain contains the temperature monitoring centre for the body.

The hypothalamus receives nerve impulses from structures in the skin called thermoreceptors, which give information about the surface temperature of the body.

The hypothalamus also contains its own thermoreceptors, which are sensitive to the temperature of the blood.

The hypothalamus responds to the information it gets from thermoreceptors by sending nerve impulses to effectors, such as the skin, to return the body temperature back to normal.

A cross-section of the brain showing the position of the hypothalamus. It is just above the brain stem.