There has been considerable recent progress in understanding the processes involved in cerebral cortical development. Several mitogenic and trophic factors have been implicated in the processes of cortical cell proliferation and differentiation. Anti-nerve growth factor (NGF) antibody was administered to 15 days chick foetuses through the cisternum magnum. Control group received phosphate buffered saline (PBS). To identify cells born in the cerebral cortex at the time of antibody or PBS injection, 5′-bromo-2′- deoxyuridine was administered to the foetuses by intravenous injection into an outlying vein using micromanipulation. After injection, the foetuses were re-incubated for another 3 days. All the foetuses were collected on day 18, the brains fixed in paraformaldehyde, cut with a microtome and stained with methyl green pyronin and anti-NGF antibody. Quantitative measurements showed that the thickness of the germinal epithelium (GE) and cerebral cortex in the anti-NGF antibody injected foetuses was decreased when compared with normal control embryos. The number of cells produced in the GE of antibody injected foetuses was decreased when compared with normal control embryos. The results from this study using neutralizing antibody suggests that NGF is an important factor in cerebral cortical development, stimulating neuronal precursor proliferation.