The simple all are none activities of a single neuron can hardly provide the adaptability needed for the constant changes faced by the organism in its internal and external environments. Information about the external environment is integrated with signals arising within the organism and transmitted to effectors to elicit a coordinated response. Thus each neuron forms a unit in a communication circuit. A survey of the features of the nervous system in the animal groups at various points on the phylogenetic tree shows that a long evolutionary process has produced the outstanding complex structure of the human brain.
Figure: Nerve Net in Jelly Fish
Protozoans are single celled organisms and clearly cannot have a nervous system. An examination of the electrical properties of the protozoan cell membrane would, however, show many similarities to those of nerve cells including electrical potential changes and currents associated with activity. Coelenterates are of great interest neurologically since they are the first animals to possess a true nervous system. The coelenterate nervous system consists of a diffuse network of neurons that are distributed throughout the body wall. Such a simple and primitive nervous system is termed a nerve net in which neurons are dispersed mostly at random. Though primitive, this arrangement serves the need of a radially symmetrical animal whose food and enemies may approach from all directions. The animal's reaction depends on the strength of the stimulus. Only a part of the body reacts to a weak stimulus and a strong stimulus causes the entire animal to respond. From such diffuse primitively organised system of nerve cells, evolution has produced a complex organized nervous system such as that of man. The system of local nerve nets, however continues to exist even in many advanced invertebrate groups and in the intestines of vertebrates.