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The nervous system derives its name from nerves, which are cylindrical bundles of fibers (the axons of neurons), that emanate from the brain and spinal cord, and branch repeatedly to innervate every part of the body.
Nerves are large enough to have been recognized by the ancient Egyptians, Greeks, and Romans, but their internal structure was not understood until it became possible to examine them using a microscope.
It was in the decade of 1990 that molecular mechanisms of behavioral phenomena became widely known (Eric Richard Kandel)." A microscopic examination shows that nerves consist primarily of axons, along with different membranes that wrap around them and segregate them into fascicles.
The sympathetic nervous system is activated in cases of emergencies to mobilize energy, while the parasympathetic nervous system is activated when organisms are in a relaxed state.
The enteric nervous system functions to control the gastrointestinal system.
"It is difficult to believe that until approximately year 1900 it was not known that neurons are the basic units of the brain (Santiago Ram? Equally surprising is the fact that the concept of chemical transmission in the brain was not known until around 1930 (Henry Hallett Dale) and (Otto Loewi).
We began to understand the basic electrical phenomenon that neurons use in order to communicate among themselves, the action potential, in the decade of 1950 (Alan Lloyd Hodgkin, Andrew Huxley and John Eccles).