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Quick Overview of the Cranial Nerves

1 The Olfactory Nerve

– Transmits the sense of smell from the nose

2 The Optic Nerve

The optic nerve is a sensory nerve responsible for vision.

3 The Oculomotor Nerve

-Transmits signals from the brain that result in eye movements.

4 The Trochlear Nerve

– Causes the eye to move in the downward and inward directions.

5 The Trigeminal Nerve

– The motor portion of the trigeminal nerve is responsible for jaw movement and chewing, while the sensory portion of the nerve provides the sensation of touch over the face.

6 The Abducens Nerve

The abducens nerve is a motor nerve that is responsible for lateral or outward eye movement.

7 The Facial Nerve

– Responsible for facial movements and expression, as well as some muscles deep in the neck.

8 The Auditory Nerve
– Responsible for hearing.

9 The Glossopharyngeal Nerve

– Innervates muscles of the neck responsible for swallowing and speech. A portion also transmits taste and touch as well as sensation of a portion of the ear.

10 The Vagus Nerve

-. Responsible for the gag reflex.

11 The Spinal Accessory Nerve

– Responsible for the movement of the sternocleidomastoid muscle in the neck and the trapezius muscle in the upper back resulting in shrugging.

12 The Hypoglossal Nerve

– Innervates the muscles of the tongue responsible for tongue movement. It traverses the skull through the hypoglossal canal.


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