Glial cells are now emerging from the shadows cast by their more excitable CNS counterparts. Within the developing nervous system, astrocytes and Schwann cells actively help to promote synapse formation and function, and have even been implicated in synapse elimination. In the adult brain, astrocytes respond to synaptic activity by releasing transmitters that modulate synaptic activity. Thus, glia are active participants in brain function. Many questions remain about the identity of glial-neuronal signals and their significance.