The nervous system is the part of an animal's body that coordinates its actions and transmits signals to and from different parts of its body.Nervous tissue first arose in wormlike organisms about 550 to 600 million years ago.
Grey matter (which is only grey in preserved tissue, and is better described as pink or light brown in living tissue) contains a high proportion of cell bodies of neurons.
White matter is composed mainly of myelinated axons, and takes its color from the myelin.
In vertebrate species it consists of two main parts, the central nervous system (CNS) and the peripheral nervous system (PNS). The PNS consists mainly of nerves, which are enclosed bundles of the long fibers or axons, that connect the CNS to every other part of the body.
Nerves that transmit signals from the brain are called motor or efferent nerves, while those nerves that transmit information from the body to the CNS are called sensory or afferent.
Typically, each body segment has one ganglion on each side, though some ganglia are fused to form the brain and other large ganglia.
The head segment contains the brain, also known as the supraesophageal ganglion.
Most nerves serve both functions and are called mixed nerves.
The PNS is divided into a) somatic and b) autonomic nervous system, and c) the enteric nervous system. The autonomic nervous system is further subdivided into the sympathetic and the parasympathetic nervous systems.
There is an anatomical convention that a cluster of neurons in the brain or spinal cord is called a nucleus, whereas a cluster of neurons in the periphery is called a ganglion.