In this contribution to the CNS Spectrums neuroanatomy series, Stefanie Geisler, MD, discusses the lateral habenula (LHb). This nuclear complex is one of the areas of the brain that forms part of the cross-talk between limbic fore-brain and some important ascending modulatory pathways. Situated at the caudal end of the dorsal diencephalon and classically regarded as projecting largely to the brainstem, including the serotoninergic raphe nuclei, the LHb receives afferents from widespread forebrain areas. Therefore, the LHb is able to influence serotonin tone in the brain, and has long interested neuroanatomists as a potential limbic-motor interface. Nonetheless, the LHb was not much discussed outside neuroanatomical circles until recently, when it was discovered that its impact on the mesotelencephalic dopamine system is probably much greater than had been assumed. The LHb has become a hot topic. This article-addresses these developments and emphasizes the clinical relevance of this interesting brain structure.