We report a 2-week-old male with a large cystic mass in the left cervical and face region. No connection to the brain or spinal cord was discernable either at operation or on imaging. Histological study of this mass revealed central nervous tissue including neuroglia, ependymal cells, non-neuroblastic neurons, pigmented retinal epithelium, and choroid plexus. This case represents the rare ectopic 'brain'. We review this case as well as the literature concerning these unusual masses. Copyright © 2003 S. Karger AG, Basel.