Mesal aspect of a brain sectioned in the median sagittal plane. Epithalamus labeled in red, by 'habenular commissure', 'pineal body', and 'posterior commissure', with its projection anteriorly consisting stria medullaris
The epithalamus is a (dorsal) posterior segment of the diencephalon. The diencephalon is a part of the forebrain that also contains the thalamus, the hypothalamus and pituitary gland. The epithalamus includes the habenula and their interconnecting fibers the habenular commissure, the stria medullaris and the pineal body.
The function of the epithalmus is to connect the limbic system to other parts of the brain. Some functions of its components include the secretion of melatonin by the pineal gland (involved in circadian rhythms), and regulation of motor pathways and emotions.
Species that possess a photoreceptive parapineal organ show asymmetry in the Epithalmus at the habenula, to the left (dorsal).
- NIF Search - Epithalamus via the Neuroscience Information Framework
- Klein, Stephen B.; Thorne, B. Michael (Oct 3, 2006). Biological Psychology. Macmillan. p. 579.
- Concha, ML; Wilson, SW (2001). "Asymmetry in the epithalamus of vertebrates". J Anat. 199 (1-2): 63–84.