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Pflugers Arch. 2012 Jan;463(1):31-42. doi: 10.1007/s00424-011-0996-4. Epub 2011 Jul 28.

Waking with the hypothalamus.

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Department of Neurophysiology, Heinrich Heine University Düsseldorf, P.O. Box 101007, 40001, Düsseldorf, Germany.


An essential component of the whole-body homoeostasis provided by the hypothalamus is the management of available energy. This includes the regulation of sleeping and waking, feeding and drinking, body temperature and activity, as well as the endocrinium. The waking brain, in particular the cerebral cortex, needs to be activated through neuronal pathways ascending from the brainstem reticular formation (ascending reticular activating system, ARAS) and reaching the cortical structures by a dorsal route through the thalamus and a ventral route, including the hypothalamus and the basal forebrain. This review concentrates on the more recently explored ventral route and the hypothalamus with its different regions involved in the control of the waking state.

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