Your quick guide the cranial nerves!

There are 12 cranial nerve excluding the R or N nerve. They are numbered from anterior ro posterior and are as below:

I | Olfactory nerve

Sensory input of scent

II | Optic

Sensory input from retina/fovea

III | Oculomotor

Motor output for control of eye and eyelid

IV | Trochlear

Motor control of eye

V | Trigeminal

Branches into 3 sub-nerves as below

V1 Opthamic

Scalp, forehead upper eyelid and nose

V2 Maxillary

Hard and sot palate, nasal cavity, cheek and temporal region of head

V3 Mandibular

Muscles of mastication

VI | Abducent

Motor output for control of eyes

VII | Facial

Motor output for control of facial muscles, salivation and taste

VIII | Vestibulo-chochlear

Sensory input for hearing and balance

IX | Glossopharyngeal

Salivation, taste (rear 1/3 of tongue), pharynx, bars and chemo receptors, tonsil and mid-ear

X | Vagus

Motor control of viscera, sensation in throat. The vagus nerve has both sympathetic and parasympathetic function.

XI | Accessory

Motor output for the neck and shoulders

XII | Hypoglossal

Motor output for the tongue, some skeletal muscle, partial viscera, sensation from skin and viscera

Heres a short mnemonic to help you remember them in order:















The nerves leave the cranial vault transiting to the soft tissues in the head and neck. most of the foramen are in the sphenoid and temporal bones. The foramen allow passage of nerves and blood vessels in and out of the cranial vault. We will explore the foramen in a separate blog post!

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