What Part of the Brain Controls Emotions and Why

what part of the brain controls emotions

Our brain is undoubtedly the most significant part of our body. Not to mention it is the most complicated part too! Here, we will find out what part of the brain controls emotions to understand our brain better.

So, of course, you wouldn’t happen to know every detail about how the brain works. Then again, most of the time, you want to satisfy your curiosity.

This is why we thought that why don’t we come up with a discussion where you will know how the human brain works.

If we are being honest, we must tell you that scientists have yet to explore some parts of the brain, especially when it comes to emotions. Emotions are undoubtedly the most important part of our lives because we are not robots.

Our emotions are what makes us human or keeps humanity alive. So you already realized why it is so important to know about our emotions and from where they come.

Here’s a one-liner for you; emotions do come from the limbic system of the brain. So do they come from the hearts? Well, it is not that simple to answer!

Now that somehow you have stumbled on to this article, you won’t be having any more questions like what part of the brain controls emotions in the future. That’s because we are confident that we will clear your curiosity!

So you better start reading before time runs out! Rest assured that you will gain so much knowledge about the brain and emotions by the end of the article.

Understanding the mechanism of our brain

You want to know what part of the brain controls emotions; we get that. But wouldn’t it be weird if you go straight to the emotion part without giving a proper introduction?

So, first of all, let’s look at what the brain is. After that, slowly but steadily, we will reach the main discussion.

If you think of the brain as a big office, you will see three major departments there. These departments make the brain do things.

The first department goes by the name of the Primitive Brain. The next two are the Emotional Brain and the Thinking Brain, respectively.

The Primitive Brain

Through this particular department, the brain performs its primal instincts. This department has immense significance as the brain stem originated from this area. But basically, this area is an absolute requirement for our survival.

The Emotional Brain

The emotional brain is what we also call the limbic system you already know about. This is the one department we are going to cover in this article.

All kinds of emotions originate from this area. Though the Limbic system also stores the memories, we gain along the way!

The Thinking Brain

This one is also significant because we get to know who we are through this department. We get creative, imagine things that are not here or never here, and have an urge to do something meaningful.

The Thinking Brain area helps us be thoughtful and insightful most of the time.

What part of the brain controls emotions

Now that we have successfully covered how the whole brain works let’s move on to the main topic. So you see that The Emotional Brain or The Limbic Cortex is the part of the brain that controls emotions.

But this information alone is not enough to get the entire picture. We need to dig a little deeper to get a decent idea.

So in the following, we have shortlisted some of the general human emotions and decided to talk about them. Please stick with us for some time to find out which emotion comes from what!

We will now talk about some common emotions you have to face daily.

Our emotions generate from our limbic system, which is not just one area, but a combination of different areas of the brain. So when we say limbic system, we refer to is Hypothalamus, Hippocampus, Amygdala, and Limbic Cortex.


We all know what happiness is. It is a feeling when we are at peace or nothing is bothering us. But do you know what part of the brain controls emotions as in happiness?

You should know that you owe the hypothalamus for bringing your happiness. In the hypothalamus, there is a neurotransmitter called Dopamine which triggers happiness.

Dopamine is not the only thing that has to do with your happiness. You also have to thank Serotonin, Endorphins, and Oxytocin hormones. This is why these hormones are also known as happy chemicals.

what part of the brain controls emotions


You might be thinking that happiness and sadness are just two different areas of the same thing. But they are not.

Sadness and happiness generate from two entirely different areas. This is why we sometimes experience sadness and happiness at once in our lives. That wouldn’t be possible if those originated from the same areas.

We can link sadness to our right occipital lobe, the Hippocampus, the left insula, the Amygdala, and the left Thalamus.


Surprise is such a tricky emotion that can bring you sadness or happiness. You wouldn’t know exactly which kind of emotion you will face until you do.

When you get surprised by someone or something, both the Hippocampus and the inferior frontal gyrus are triggered and send signals.


Why do you think we get angry at times? Sometimes, some things don’t meet our expectations, and there is nothing we can do about it. So we get angry.

Or sometimes, we get frustrated in our lives when we do not get what we want. This frustration eventually leads to anger.

what part of the brain controls emotions

What part of the brain controls emotions like anger

Scientists think that some prefrontal cortex areas have something to do with generating anger. But it is mainly the Amygdala that stimulates the hypothalamus to send signals.

Whenever someone gets angry, they lose the ability to think straight. They don’t think about using logic and take certain actions that don’t suit them! That also means that their amygdala is starting to work hard.

So next time you get angry or someone next to you loses it, you should wait for a while for things to get better again.


No one can say that they have fallen in love without feeling the butterflies in their stomach. We all felt that at some point in our lives.

People get somewhat anxious and uptight whenever they see the one who can make their stomach flutter. Eventually, some hormones like Oxytocin, Dopamine, and Vasopressin begin to stimulate the hypothalamus.

This Oxytocin is the one most significant when it comes to love. This is why Oxytocin also goes by the name of love hormone.


Do you know what part of the brain controls emotions or fear? Do you think generating an emotion like this is significant?

Well, fear has some significance if you look closely at it. If your brain fails to sense fear, you won’t be able to act accordingly.

So what happens when you see or hear something alarming? The Amygdala triggers the hypothalamus, which triggers what we know as adrenaline glands. Hence the adrenaline starts to do its job to save you from harm.

What part of the brain controls emotions and feelings

Do you know what emotions are?  Or what part of the brain controls emotions and feelings?

Well, emotions are nothing but a bunch of necessary feelings to generate emotions.

Just like this, emotions and feelings are related in a way. So if you don’t feel anything, you won’t be emotional anymore.

It is mainly the Amygdala, the Prefrontal Cortex, the Hippocampus, the Cingulate Cortex, and the Basal Ganglia for those with feelings and emotions.

You already know that you couldn’t feel certain things when you were just a kid. But now that you are all grown up, those things inflict you pain.

So have you wondered why? You were a human back then, and you are still human now. Where is the difference?

Your brain cells were not as mature as they are now. That is why certain things didn’t affect you back then.

But now you are an adult, and so is your brain!

Sometimes though, some people’s brains don’t age as they should. That’s when things could get sideways.

Then they fail to adapt to certain feelings and emotions.

what part of the brain controls emotions

What part of the brain controls emotions and memory

If you truly take a close look, you will know that emotions and memory are both somewhat related to each other. We wouldn’t be able to show emotions if we didn’t have any memories.

So now the question is what part of the brain controls emotions and memories. In this section, we will try to find out the answer.

There have been some controversies about whether the memories are stored in just one area of our brains or not.

But now, it is proven that not the entire brain but certain areas do the job when it comes to storing memories.

There are indeed various areas inside our brains for keeping memories. But all of our memories too fall into different categories.

Our explicit memories are generally kept inside the Hippocampus, the Amygdala, and the Neocortex, while the implicit memories remain inside the cerebellum and the Basal Ganglia. Then there’s the prefrontal cortex, where the working memories are intact.

First of all, we need to know about Amygdala. But previously noticed that it has something to do with our emotions. So is it important when it comes to our memories as well?

The answer is yes. Another important aspect of the Amygdala is that it also captures our memories and keeps them for a long time.

The Amygdala captures those memories which are related to emotions. It tends to keep memories for a large amount of time and uses these memories when the time is right!

Next comes the Hippocampus, which is also important in this case. But how does that work?

Whenever we gain knowledge or experience something remarkable, that tends to remain in our brains forever. We constantly create fresh memories that remain intact inside our brains and the memories.

If somehow something goes wrong in this part of your brain, you won’t be able to keep any fresh memories!

We can perform our daily activities as we remember how to do that. For this, we owe the cerebellum more than we realize.

Do you still remember which book you read two days ago? Or to whom you talked earlier on the phone?

If you do, then your Prefrontal Cortex is working just fine. That’s because these are what we know as short-term memories.

Final thoughts

Now that the time is upon us, we must say goodbye to you. But before signing off, here are our final thoughts on what part of the brain controls emotions.

They say that your mind is your true home. No doubt that you, too, have already realized that case you gave attention to while reading the entire article.

As we mentioned in the beginning, certain brain areas are still a mystery. We can’t say for sure what’s what when talking about human emotions.

But the truth is researchers are constantly giving their absolute best to explore the explored areas of the brain. So we hope that we will all be able to know more about the emotional thing in no time as time goes by!