Suprachiasmatic nucleus

part of the brain's hypothalamus


The suprachiasmatic nucleus (SCN), is a small nucleus in the hypothalamus. It is in middle of the brain. It is right on top of the optic chiasma.

Suprachiasmatic nucleus
HypothalamicNuclei.PNG
Suprachiasmatic nucleus is SC, at center left, labelled in blue. Below that is the optic chiasm. It is labelled OC in black.
Suprachiasmatic Nucleus.jpg
Suprachiasmatic nucleus is labelled and shown in green.
Details
Identifiers
Latinnucleus suprachiasmaticus
MeSHD013493
NeuroNames384
NeuroLex IDbirnlex_1325
TAA14.1.08.911
FMA67883
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

It is our "body clock", and controls our daily rhythms by hormones and nerve impulses. With its various cell types, it puts out peptides such as vasopressin and vasoactive intestinal peptide) and neurotransmitters.

The SCN controls when we get sleepy, when we wake up, when we are active and when we get hungry. The SCN gets information about light and dark from the retina in the eye so it can adjust itself to the true 24 hours. To do this it uses only about 20,000 neurons.[1]

The SCN also exchanges information with many other parts of the brain. It uses many different types of cells and many different types of peptides (including vasopressin and vasoactive intestinal peptide) and neurotransmitters.

ReferencesEdit

  1. Fahey J (2009-10-15). "How Your Brain Tells Time". Out Of The Labs. Forbes.