The heteromodal association neocortex is believed to be a major site of involvement in schizophrenia. This system includes the prefrontal cortex and portions of the superior temporal and inferior parietal cortices, which are linked in cognitive networks observing complex executive functions. The heteromodal cortex is highly elaborated in humans and is believed to continue to develop past birth. The neuropathology of schizophrenia is likely to be heterogeneous and appears to involve developmental abnormalities, with a prominent genetic component. However, the genes involved in the development of the neocortex, and particularly the heteromodal cortex, are not well understood. A candidate-gene approach to schizophrenia using techniques of differential expression might now be feasible and could illuminate the basic neurobiology of the heteromodal cortical network.