The diencephalon is the part of the forebrain that contains such important structures as the thalamus, hypothalamus, and part of the pituitary gland. The hypothalamus performs numerous vital functions, most of which relate directly or indirectly to the regulation of visceral activities by way of other brain regions and the autonomic nervous system.
The diencephalon, together with the telencephalon (cerebrum) previously discussed, constitutes the forebrain and is almost completely surrounded by the cerebral hemispheres. The third ventricle is a narrow midline cavity within the diencephalon.
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