The hypothalamus is a part of the brain responsible for controlling emotional behavior and the body's responses to food. The tuber cinereum is located in the hypothalamus.
The tuber cinereum is situated above the optic chiasm, where the optic nerves intersect. It is directly below the mammillary bodies, which help regulate memory. Scientists have found that the area is comprised of gray matter, a type of tissue composed of nerve cell bodies, dendrites (branches of a nerve cell), and synapses (gaps between cells).
This area contains the tuberomammillary nucleus and tuberal nucleus. The tuberomammillary nucleus produces histamine. Histamine helps the body regulate sleep, helps produce responses to sexual stimuli, and helps the body respond to stressful situations. Studies have found that histamine also helps the body protect itself against drug sensitization, where the body is overly sensitive to certain medications. The function of the tuberal nucleus is unknown.
The tuber cinereum also regulates the circadian cycle in the human body. The circadian cycle refers to a process that completes a full cycle in a 24-hour period. In the human body this is often looked at as the way the body responds to the biological clock. The body automatically undergoes certain processes and experiences within a 24-hour cycle.