So how are the endocrine and nervous system linked? The brain structure known as the hypothalamus connects these two important communication systems. The hypothalamus is a tiny collection of nuclei that is responsible for controlling an astonishing amount of behavior. Located at the base of the forebrain, the hypothalamus regulates basic needs such as sleep, hunger, thirst and sex in addition to emotional and stress responses. The hypothalamus also controls the pituitary glands, which then controls the release of hormones from other glands in the endocrine system.