The Cranial Nerves
There are 12 pairs of cranial nerves, and they originate from the brain and upper spinal cord and innervate the special sense organs in the head (eye, ear, nose, and taste buds), the skin over the face and neck, and muscles that permit us to speak, eat, turn our head, and produce facial expressions. These cranial nerves also provide parasympathetic innervation to the eye (III) and glands in the head and neck (VII, IX and X) and the X cranial nerve, the vagus innervates the skeletal muscles in the larynx that produce speech, and also innervate the organs of the cardiovascular system, pulmonary system, GI system, and urogenital systems.
KeywordsOlfactory Optic Oculomotor Trochlear Abducens Trigeminal Facial Vestibuloacoustic Glossopharyngeal Vagus Accessory Hypoglossal Brain stem Corticonuclear
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