Nervous tissue

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Nervous tissue is one of the four major classes of vertebrate tissue (the other three being Epithelium, connective tissue and muscle tissue). Nervous tissue is the primary means that an organism has of exchanging information or commands between various organs and other tissues. It is divided into two categories: the first is neurons and the second is neuroglial. Neurons make up the functional form of the tissue and most of the communication and integration of information occurs with neuronal tissue. Neuroglial primarily provide structural and metabolic support for the neurons. However, some parts of the neuroglial aid in neuronal communication by insulating the axons that propagate the electrical impulse allowing for faster transfer of information.

The complete collection of nervous tissue in an organism makes up its nervous system which is responsible for perceiving sensory data, integrating and processing information and controlling behavioral responses.


  • Kandel, ER; Schwartz JH, Jessell TM (2000). Principles of Neural Science, 4th ed., New York: McGraw-Hill. ISBN 0-8385-7701-6.
  • Martin, JH (2003). Neuroanatomy text and atlas 3rd ed., New York: McGraw-Hill.
  • Sanes, Reh, Harris (2005). Development of the Nervous System, 2nd edition. Academic Press; ISBN 0-12-618621-9