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Mammillary body

Recommended video: Hypothalamus [32:45]
Nuclei and connections of the hypothalamus.

The mammillary bodies (also spelled as 'mamillary' bodies) are a pair of small, rounded protrusions that are found in the posteroinferior part of the hypothalamus. They contribute to the posterior (a.k.a. mammillary) hypothalamic area. 

There are two bodies and they are found on either side of the midline at the ends of the anterior arches of the fornix. The fornix is a part of the limbic system

Each mammillary body consists of two groups of nuclei: the medial mammillary nuclei and the lateral mammillary nuclei. They have direct connections to the hippocampusthalamus and tegmental nuclei. They are also part of the medial limbic circuit (Papez circuit) as they relay impulses from the hippocampal formation to the anterior thalamic nuclei via the mammillothalamic tract. 

The bloody supply to the mammillary bodies is from the posteromedial central brances of posterior communicating artery. 

The primary function of the mammillary body is associated with recollective memory.  The other functions that the mammillary body may be involved in include emotion, reward and goal directed behaviours.

Learn more about the mammillary bodies in this study unit: 

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