Neurosciences is the study of the nervous system, which is the part of an animal’s body that controls its behaviour by transmitting signals between different body areas.
Neurosciences started being recognized as an academic discipline at the beginning of the 20th century, thanks to the pioneering work of Ramon y Cajal. Cajal’s work led to the formation of the neuron doctrine, which is the hypothesis that i) the brain is constituted of discrete cells called neurons, and ii) the fundamental unit of the brain is the neuron.
Neurons are highly specialized cells capable of communicating via synapses, which are membrane-to-membrane junctions containing molecular machinery that allows rapid transmission of signals, either electrical or chemical. The nervous system emerges from the assemblage of neurons that are connected to each other.
In vertebrates, the nervous system is composed of two main parts: the Centralized Nervous System and the Peripheral Nervous System. The CNS is composed of the brain and the spinal cord. Impulses are transmitted to and from the CNS to the peripheral organs by nerve fibers, which make up most of the Peripheral Nervous System along with peripheral ganglia (a group of nerve cells providing intermediary connections with the CNS).