Cranial Nerves



I. Olfactory Nerve (base of brain):

Sense of smell (fibers arise from olfactory epithelium, pass through cribriform plate of the ethmoid bone, synapse with olfactory bulbs of the olfactory tract, and end in the olfactory area of the temporal lobe):


II. Optic Nerve (base of brain):

Sense of vision (fibers arise from retina of eye to form optic nerve; half cross to opposite side in optic chiasm, then pass through the optic tract, which synapse in the thalamus, and end in the visual area of the occipital lobe):


III. Oculomotor Nerve (midbrain):

Four muscles that move the eye; iris muscles that control pupil size; ciliary muscles that control lens shape


IV. Trochlear Nerve (midbrain):

A muscle that moves the eye


V. Trigeminal Nerve (pons):

Muscles of mastication and floor of mouth; skin of face and anterior scalp


VI. Abducens Nerve (pons):

A muscle that moves the eye


VII. Facial Nerve (pons):

Muscles of facial expression; lacrimal glands; inferior salivary glands; taste buds of anterior tongue


VIII. Vestibulocochlear Nerve (pons):

Senses of equilibrium, balance, and hearing


IX. Glossopharyngeal Nerve (medulla oblongata):

Pharyngeal muscles; parotid salivary glands; taste buds of posterior tongue


X. Vagus Nerve (medulla oblongata):

Heart; lungs; smooth muscles of abdominal visceral organs, including GI tract


XI. Accessory Nerve (medulla oblongata):

Neck muscles (sternocleidomastoid and trapezius)


XII. Hypoglossal Nerve (medulla oblongata):

Tongue muscles