The term limbic is derived from limbus, meaning ring. Many of these structures and their pathways in the limbic system form a ring around the diencephalon. They are involved in emotional behavior and individualized interpretations of external and internal stimuli. The hippocampal formation and its major pathway, the fornix, curve into the anterior pole of the diencephalon, forming precommissural (to the septum) and postcommissural (to the hypothalamus) connections in relation to the anterior commissure. The amygdaloid nuclei give rise to several pathways; one, the stria terminalis, extends in a C-shaped course around the diencephalon into the hypothalamus and basal forebrain. The olfactory tract communicates directly with several limbic forebrain areas; it is the only sensory system to entirely bypass the thalamus and terminate directly in cortical and subcortical zones of the telencephalon. Connections from the septal nuclei to the habenula (stria medullaris thalami) connect the limbic forebrain to the brain stem. The amygdaloid nuclei and hippocampus (shaded) are deep to the cortex.