Conventional shell continua are passive, which do not possess any sensation and action/reaction capabilities. In this paper, distributed piezoelectric layers coupled with conventional elastic shell distributed systems are used as distributed “neurons” (sensors) and “muscles” (actuators) for structural monitoring and actuation of shells. New theories on distributed “neural” sensation and actuation of shells are developed based on a generic shell continuum coupled with piezoelectric neurons and muscles. Open and closed loop system dynamic equations are also derived. The system equations are further transferred to state equations. The derived theories can be directly simplified to a broad class of geometries, cylindrical shells, spherical shells, conical shels, zero-curvature shells (i.e., plates: rectangular, circular, etc.), beams, etc. Applications of the theories to a cylindrical shell using four system parameters, two Lame’s parameters and two radii of curvature, are demonstrated.