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limbic system Line breaks: lim¦bic sys¦tem
Pronunciation: /ˈlɪmbɪk/

Definition of limbic system in English:


A complex system of nerves and networks in the brain, involving several areas near the edge of the cortex concerned with instinct and mood. It controls the basic emotions (fear, pleasure, anger) and drives (hunger, sex, dominance, care of offspring).
Example sentences
  • However, we do know that breathing can be ‘driven’ by activation of the amygdaloid nucleus within the limbic system - a complex brain area concerned with feeling and emotions.
  • Emotions, designed by natural selection and controlled by the limbic system of the brain, motivate infants and children to protest sleep isolation from parents by crying.
  • Immediate verbal recall was measured using stories from Wechsler's Memory Scale-Revised, which tests the limbic system of the temporal lobes.


Late 19th century: limbic from French limbique, from Latin limbus 'edge'.

Definition of limbic system in:
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