Publisher Summary This chapter focuses on the recent findings and those of other laboratories on extracellular matrix in developing cortex and provides a brief review of recent observations on the distribution of receptors for extracellular matrix (ECM). The studies of the distribution and production of ECM components during development of the cerebral cortex have suggested several hypotheses regarding their functional role. In the earliest stages of cortical development, fibronectin is produced by cells in the ventricular zone throughout the telencephalic vesicle, where it may serve as a part of the local environment that supports cell division and determines cell fate. Fibronectin is also distributed along radial glial processes. Axons leaving the cortical plate cross the chondroitin sulfate proteoglycan (CSPG)-rich subplate and then turn to follow a path containing much less CSPG. In contrast, the cortical trajectory of thalamic axons is centered on the subplate, indicating that CSPGs in the subplate are not a barrier to axon outgrowth and may instead be serving as guidance cues that distinguish afferent from efferent pathways. Neuro can, a central nervous system (CNS)-specific CSPG with many molecular features that indicate roles in cell-cell and cell-substrate interactions, is the only CSPG defined to date whose distribution supports a role in distinguishing afferent from efferent pathways.