The primate amygdala is composed of multiple subnuclei that play distinct roles in amygdala function. While some nuclei have been areas of focused investigation, others remain virtually unknown. One of the more obscure regions of the amygdala is the paralaminar nucleus (PL). The PL in humans and non-human primates is relatively expanded compared to lower species. Long considered to be part of the basal nucleus, the PL has several interesting features that make it unique. These features include a dense concentration of small cells, high concentrations of receptors for corticotropin releasing hormone and benzodiazepines, and dense innervation of serotonergic fibers. More recently, high concentrations of immature-appearing cells have been noted in the primate PL, suggesting special mechanisms of neural plasticity. Following a brief overview of amygdala structure and function, this review will provide an introduction to the history, embryology, anatomical connectivity, immunohistochemical and cytoarchitectural properties of the PL. Our conclusion is that the PL is a unique subregion of the amygdala that may yield important clues about the normal growth and function of the amygdala, particularly in higher species 1).