Most nerves serve both functions and are called mixed nerves.
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.
There are, however, a few exceptions to this rule, notably including the part of the forebrain called the basal ganglia Arthropods, such as insects and crustaceans, have a nervous system made up of a series of ganglia, connected by a ventral nerve cord made up of two parallel connectives running along the length of the belly.
The neurons that give rise to nerves do not lie entirely within the nerves themselves—their cell bodies reside within the brain, spinal cord, or peripheral ganglia Glial cells (named from the Greek for "glue") are non-neuronal cells that provide support and nutrition, maintain homeostasis, form myelin, and participate in signal transmission in the nervous system.
In the human brain, it is estimated that the total number of glia roughly equals the number of neurons, although the proportions vary in different brain areas.
In the insect nervous system, the brain is anatomically divided into the protocerebrum, deutocerebrum, and tritocerebrum.
Immediately behind the brain is the subesophageal ganglion, which is composed of three pairs of fused ganglia.
Among the most important functions of glial cells are to support neurons and hold them in place; to supply nutrients to neurons; to insulate neurons electrically; to destroy pathogens and remove dead neurons; and to provide guidance cues directing the axons of neurons to their targets.
A very important type of glial cell (oligodendrocytes in the central nervous system, and Schwann cells in the peripheral nervous system) generates layers of a fatty substance called myelin that wraps around axons and provides electrical insulation which allows them to transmit action potentials much more rapidly and efficiently.
Both autonomic and enteric nervous systems function involuntarily.