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Grey matter (which is only grey in preserved tissue, and is better described as pink or light brown in living tissue) contains a high proportion of cell bodies of neurons.White matter is composed mainly of myelinated axons, and takes its color from the myelin.White matter includes all of the nerves, and much of the interior of the brain and spinal cord.Grey matter is found in clusters of neurons in the brain and spinal cord, and in cortical layers that line their surfaces.

In insects, many neurons have cell bodies that are positioned at the edge of the brain and are electrically passive—the cell bodies serve only to provide metabolic support and do not participate in signalling.A protoplasmic fiber runs from the cell body and branches profusely, with some parts transmitting signals and other parts receiving signals.Thus, most parts of the insect brain have passive cell bodies arranged around the periphery, while the neural signal processing takes place in a tangle of protoplasmic fibers called neuropil, in the interior.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.

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