Recent advances have revealed that modification of chromatin structure is an important determinant of cell fate and function. DNA methylation and covalent modifications of histone tails contribute to changes in chromatin architectures, either enhancing or repressing gene expression. Another mechanism underlying the modification of chromatin structure relies on the activity of the SWI/SNF-related ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes that control the accessibility of DNA sequences to transcription factors. There is increasing evidence that ATP-dependent chromatin remodeling complexes based on the alternative DNA-dependent ATPases, Brg1 and Brm, plays essential roles during neural development in both vertebrates and invertebrates. This remodeling complex has dedicated functions at different stages of neural development that appear to arise by combinatorial assembly of its subunits.