Fetal brain tissue has been shown to have clear behavioral effects when transplanted into adult lesioned brains. These results have focused attention on the cell types of the embryonic brain. Transplantation experiments using primary cells are beginning to define the plasticity of these cells and the times when they become committed to specific neuronal fates. Growth factors have been defined that regulate the proliferation of these cells in culture. Cell lines have been established that express stem cell properties and that are capable of differentiation when implanted into the developing brain. In this article we review this work on mammalian neuroepithelial stem cells and discuss how these studies might contribute to the therapeutic use of brain transplants.