Nuclear factor κB (NFκB) is a dynamically modulated transcription factor with an extensive literature pertaining to widespread actions across species, cell types and developmental stages. Analysis of NFκB in a complex environment such as neural tissue suffers from a difficulty in simultaneously establishing both activity and location. Much of the available data indicate a profound recalcitrance of NFκB activation in neurons, as compared with most other cell types. Few studies to date have sought to distinguish between the various combinatorial dimers of NFκB family members. Recent research has illuminated the importance of these problems, as well as opportunities to move past them to the nuances manifest through variable activation pathways, subunit complexity and target sequence preferences.