Patterns of cell movement play a key role in the establishment of the brain's functional architecture during development. The migration of neuronal progenitor cells has been hypothesized to disperse clonally related cells among different areas of the developing cerebral cortex. To test this model, we explored the migratory patterns of cells in the proliferative zone of the intact cortex of the ferret. After focal injections of DiI, labeled cells migrated in all directions and over long distances within the ventricular and subventricular zones. These cells expressed the neuron-specific marker TuJ1 and did not incorporate BrdU after cumulative labeling. Our results reveal an extensive tangential dispersion of cortical cells mediated predominantly or exclusively by the non-radial migration of postmitotic neurons.

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