This review discusses the development of the neuroepithelium (NE) and its derivative ventricular zone (VZ), from which the central nervous system (CNS) is formed. First, the histological features of the NE and VZ are summarized, highlighting the phenomenon of pseudostratification, which is achieved by polarization and interkinetic nuclear migration (INM) of neural progenitor cells. Next, our current understanding of the cellular and molecular mechanisms and biological significance of INM and pseudostratification are outlined. The recent three-dimensional time-lapse observations revealing heterogeneity in cell lineages within the NE and VZ are also described, focusing on the neuronal lineage. Finally, the necessity of comprehensive studies on cell-cell interactions in the NE/VZ is discussed, as well as the importance of electrophysiological and biomechanical approaches. In particular, we suggest that a systems biology approach to the NE/VZ as a cellular ‘community’ may be fruitful.