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olfactory (CN I) optic (CN II) occulomotor (CN III)


trochlear (CN IV)

trigeminal (CN V) ophthalmic (CN V1)

trigeminal ganglion






CN V1 via frontal nerve

supratrochlear nasociliary

CN V1 via frontal nerve CN V1

infratrochlear posterior ethmoidal

CN V1 via nasociliary nerve CN V1 via nasociliary nerve

Innervation and Location special sensory: smell from nasal mucosa special sensory: vision from retina somatic motor: all of the eye, including levator palpebrae superioris, but except lateral rectus and superior oblique; visceral motor: inferior division transmits preganglionic parasympathetic fibers to the ciliary ganglion, which later go to the sphincter pupillae and ciliary muscle; both its superior and inferior divisions enter into the superior orbital fissure thru the common tendinous ring somatic motor: superior oblique; enter into the superior orbital fissure above the common tendinous ring general sensory nerve for the face and somatic motor nerve for the muscles of mastication general sensory fibers for the cornea, skin of forehead, scalp, eyelids, nose, mucosa of nasal cavity and paranasal sinuses; before entering the superior orbital fissure, divides into 3 branches enters superior orbital fissure above the tendinous ring; supplies the lacrimal gland and sensory fibers to skin and conjunctiva of lateral part of upper eye; its distal part also carries parasympathetic secretomotor fibers conveyed to it from the zygomaticotemporal nerve (CN V2) enters superior orbital fissure above the tendinous ring and divides into supraorbital and supratrochlear branches sensory fibers to the skin of forehead, scalp, upper eyelid, nose, conjunctiva of upper eyelid and mucosa of frontal sinus sensory fibers to the skin in middle of forehead to hairline near the midline enters the superior orbital fissure within the tendinous ring as the sensory nerve to the eyeball and to provide the infratrochlear and posterior ethmoidal branches, becoming the anterior ethmoidal nerve and descending inside the nasal cavity; after supplying the nasal mucous membrane, it emerges as the external nasal branch to the nose; receives a branch from the ciliary ganglion sensory fibers to the skin and conjunctiva of upper eyelid, skin of the nose, and lacrimal sac sensory fibers to the mucous membrane of the sphenoidal and ethmoidal sinuses and the nasal cavities

anterior ethmoidal

CN V1 via nasociliary nerve

long ciliary

CN V1 via nasociliary nerve CN V1 via nasociliary nerve trigeminal ganglion

external nasal maxillary (CN V2)

sensory fibers to the mucous membrane of the ethmoidal sinuses, the anterosuperior part of the nasal mucosa (both septum and lateral wall) and the dura of the anterior cranial fossa transmits postsynaptic sympathetic fibers to the dilator pupillae and afferent fibers from the iris and cornea skin on dorsum of nose, including tip of nose general sensory fibers to the mucous membrane of nasopharynx, skin of face over maxilla, maxillary teeth, maxillary sinuses, and palate; afferent limb of the sneeze reflex; intracranially, it gives off a meningeal branch to the meninges of the middle cranial fossa; in the pterygopalatine fossa, it gives two branches to the pterygopalatine ganglion; enters the orbit thru the inferior orbital fissure, changing its name to the infraorbital nerve skin of cheek, lower eyelid, lateral side of nose, inferior septum and upper lip via superior labial branches; maxillary premolar incisors, canine teeth, and mucosa of maxillary sinus divides into zygomaticofacial and zygomaticotemporal nerves supplies skin over zygomatic arch and anterior temporal region; gives off communicating branch which conveys parasympathetic secretomotor fibers and sympathetic fibers to the lacrimal gland by way of the lacrimal nerve from the pterygopalatine ganglion supplies skin over zygomatic arch and anterior temporal region branches from the CN V2 before it enters the inferior orbital fissure; forms the superior dental plexus with anterior, middle, and posterior branches; supplies the maxillary sinuses and the labial and buccal maxillary gingivae general sensory (mostly posterior branch) fibers to the skin over the mandible, mandibular teeth, TMJ, mucosa of mouth and anterior 2/3 of tongue; branchial motor (mostly anterior branch): muscles of mastication (masseter, temporal, medial and lateral pterygoids), mylohyoid, anterior digastric belly, tensor veli palatini, and tensor tympani; only sensory of anterior branch is buccal nerve; three branches off posterior trunk: auriculotemporal (smallest), inferior alveolar, and lingual



zygomatic zygomaticotemporal

CN V2 CN V2 via zygomatic nerve

zygomaticofacial superior alveolar

CN V2 via zygomatic nerve CN V2

mandibular (CN V3)

cell bodies for the branchial motor are located in the pons, whereas general sensory cell bodies are in the trigeminal ganglion like V1 and V2


posterior trunk of CN V3 arises via two roots that encircle the middle meningeal artery and then unite into a single trunk; supplies sensory fibers to auricle, temporal region, external surface of the tympanic membrane and the parotid gland; also sends articular fibers to TMJ and parasympathetic fibers to the parotid gland; responsible for the referral of pain from the TMJ to the side of the scalp inferior alveloar posterior trunk of CN V3 provides mylohyoid nerve branch (only motor contribution of posterior trunk of CN V3) and then enters the mandibular foramen, passing thru the mandibular canal and forming the inferior dental plexus, connecting all mandibular teeth on one side mylohyoid CN V3 via the inferior branches just before the mandibular foramen and alveolar nerve supplies the mylohyoid and anterior digastric belly mental CN V3 via the inferior passing thru the mental foramen, it supplies the dental plexus skin and mucous membrane of the lower lip via inferior labial branches; skin of the chin, and the vestibular gingiva of the mandibular incisor teeth lingual posterior trunk of CN V3 lying anterior to the inferior alveolar nerve and on the medial pterygoid muscle, it is general sensory, touch and temperature, to the anterior 2/3 of the tongue, the floor of the mouth, and the lingual gingivae; joined at an acute angle by the chorda tympani; passes in close relationship to the 3rd molar tooth of the mandible buccal branch of CN V3 anterior trunk of CN V3 skin and mucosa of cheek, buccal gingivae adjacent to 2nd and 3rd molar teeth abducent (CN VI) somatic motor fibers to the lateral rectus; enters thru the superior orbital fissure within the tendinous ring facial (CN VII) branchial motor: muscles of facial expression and scalp, stapedius, stylohyoid, and posterior digastric belly; special sensory: taste from the anterior 2/3 of tongue, floor of mouth, and palate; general sensory: skin of external acoustic meatus; visceral motor: parasympathetic to submandibular and sublingual glands, lacrimal glands, and glands of nose and palate temporal CN VII occipitalis and frontalis muscles zygomatic branch of CN VII CN VII crosses the zygomatic bone and innervates the orbicularis oculi buccal branch of CN VII CN VII runs with the parotid duct to control the nostrils, mouth, buccinator mandibular CN VII muscles of the lower lip and chin (depressor anguli oris) cervical CN VII platysma

posterior auricular greater petrosal


chorda tympani


vestibularcochlear (CN VIII)

glossopharyngeal (CN IX)

carotid sinus tympanic


tympanic plexus

fibers of CN VII and IX

lesser petrosal

tympanic plexus

vagus (CN X)

auricular muscle; runs with the posterior auricular artery joins the deep petrosal nerve to form the nerve of the pterygoid canal; presynaptic parasympathetic fibers for the lacrimal gland; also carries special sensory (taste) fibers from the palate, acquired in the pterygopalatine ganglion to the geniculate ganglion branches from the CN VII within the facial canal, runs thru the tympanic cavity, crossing the tympanic membrane at the level of the upper end of the manubrium of the malleus; emerges thru the petrotympanic fissure; carries special sensory (taste) fibers from the anterior 2/3 of the tongue (except for the vallate papillae) and presynaptic parasympathetic secretomotor fibers for the submandibular and sublingual glands to the submandibular ganglion special sensory: vestibular sensation from semicircular ducts, utricle, and saccule, and hearing from spiral organ, with cell bodies located within the vestibular ganglion branchial motor fibers to the stylopharyngeus; visceral motor parasympathetic fibers the to parotid gland; visceral sensory fibers to the parotid gland, carotid body and sinus, pharynx, and middle ear; special sensory (taste) fibers from the posterior 1/3 of tongue, which includes the vallate papillae; general sensory fibers from external ear and posterior 1/3 of tongue carotid sinus and carotid body travels to tympanic plexus where it becomes the lesser petrosal nerve; supplies the tympanic cavity, the mastoid antrum and air cells, and the pharyngotympanic tube gives rise to nerves of the pharyngotympanic tube; on the medial wall of the middle ear; sympathetic fibers from the internal carotid plexus (carticotympanic nerves) acquires filaments from the geniculate ganglion which relay in the otic ganglion to pass via the auriculotemporal nerve to stimulate the parotid gland branchial motor fibers to the constrictor muscles of the pharynx, intrinsic muscles of the larnyx, muscles of the palate, except tensor veli palatini, and striated muscle in superior 2/3 of esophagus; visceral motor parasympathetic fibers to the trachea, bronchi, digestive tract, and cardiac

superior vagal ganglion inferior vagal ganglion superior laryngeal

CN X CN X CN X via inferior vagal ganglion CN X via recurrent laryngeal nerve CN X via superior laryngeal nerve

inferior laryngeal internal laryngeal

external laryngeal

CN X via superior laryngeal nerve CN X

recurrent laryngeal

pharyngeal plexus

tonsillar plexus

pharyngeal branches (sensory fibers) of CN IX and CN X and sympathetic branches from the superior cervical ganglion; motor fibers derived from the cranial root of CN XI and carried by CN X branches of CN IX and X and the pharyngeal plexus

muscle; visceral sensory fibers to the base of the tongue, pharynx, larynx, trachea, bronchi, heart, esophagus, stomach, and intestine; special sensory (taste) fibers from epiglottis and palate; general sensory fibers the from auricle, external acoustic meatus, and dura mater of posterior cranial fossa (meningeal branch, which may slow the pulse (bradycardia), when the meninges are stretched); efferent limb of the sneeze reflex, cough relfex, and the gag reflex general sensory component visceral sensory component runs deep to both carotids and divides into the internal laryngeal and external laryngeal nerves becomes the inferior laryngeal nerve above the lower border of the cricoid cartilage piercing the thyrohyoid membrane with the superior laryngeal artery; it supplies sensory fibers to the laryngeal mucous membrane superior to the vocal folds; some special sensory fibers to the tongue just anterior to the epiglottis supplies motor fibers to the cricothyroid muscle and inferior pharyngeal constrictor; runs with the superior thyroid artery runs posterior to the thyroid gland and enters the larynx deep to the lower border of the inferior constrictor; all intrinsic muscles of the larynx except the cricothyroid; sensory fibers to the laryngeal mucous membrane inferior to the vocal folds CN X branch supplies the palatoglossus, palatopharygeus, salpingopharyngeus, and all three constrictors, levator veli palatini (all muscles of the soft palate except for the tensor veli palatini); CN IX branch supplies sensory fibers to most of the mucosa except nasopharynx (CN V2); located on the middle constrictor muscle; afferent limb of the gag reflex tonsillar nerves to the palatine tonsil and the soft palate cranial branch is somatic motor and supplies striated muscles of soft palate, pharynx via fibers that join CN X, larynx; spinal branch is branchial motor and supplies sternocleidomastoid and trapezius, and runs superficial to the investing layer of the deep cervical fascia on the levator

accessory (CN XI)

hypoglossal (CN XII)


pterygopalatine ganglion

greater palatine

lesser palatine nasopalatine

nerve of the pterygoid canal

deep petrosal

ciliary ganglion

short ciliary

otic ganglion

scapulae; partially located in the posterior triangle hooks anteriorly around the occipital branch of the external carotid to pass over the loop of the lingual artery and the hyoglossus muscle; somotic motor fibers supply muscles of tongue (genioglossus, thyroglossus, styloglossus, and all intrinsic), except palatoglossus carried with CN XII somatic motor fibers to geniohyoid, thyrohyoid ganglionic branches postsynaptic parasympathetic fibers innervate (general sensory) of CN lacrimal gland via zygomaticotemporal branch of V2, in addition to the nasal and palatine glands; V2; parasympathetic fibers come from CN postsynaptic sympathetic fibers accompany those VII and sympathetic branches of pterygopalatine nerve that are fibers from internal distributed to blood vessels of the nasal cavity, carotid plexus by way of palate, and superior part of the pharynx; sensory fibers of the nose, palate, tonsil, gingivae, and the nerve of the pterygoid canal anterior part of pharyngotympanic tube, all of which are branches of the maxillary nerve CN V2 supplies the palatine gingivae of the maxillary premolar and molar teeth, mucous membrane, and glands of most of the hard palate; posterior lateral nasal branches supply the lateral wall of the nasal mucosa; emerges between the 2nd and 3rd molar teeth CN V2 soft palate CN V2 posteroinferior half to 2/3 of the nasal mucosa; supplies the palatine gingivae of the incisors and the mucous membrane of the anterior part of the hard palate joining of the greater passes thru the canal of the pterygoid process to petrosal nerve and the the pterygopalatine ganglion deep petrosal nerve superior cervical postsynaptic sympathetic fibers for the lacrimal ganglion by the internal gland; joins the greater petrosal nerve to form the nerve of the pterygoid canal carotid plexus parasympathetic; inferior branch of CN III; sympathetic: branch from internal carotid plexus in cavernous sinus; postsynaptic parasympathetic fibers pass to ciliary muscle and sphincter pupillae of iris: postsynaptic sympathetic fibers pass to dilator pupillae and blood vessels of eye ciliary ganglion transmits postsynaptic parasympathetic and sympathetic fibers to the sphincter pupillae and ciliary muscle and afferent fibers from the iris and cornea presynaptic parasympathetic fibers, derived mainly from CN IX (lesser petrosal nerve), synapse; postsynaptic parasympathetic fibers are distributed to parotid gland via auriculotemporal

medial pterygoid

submandibular ganglion

CN V3 via otic ganglion parasympathetic fibers from chorda tympani by way of the lingual nerve; sympathetic fibers from the plexus on the facial artery

nerve (CN V3); sympathetic fibers from superior cervical ganglion come from plexus on middle meningeal artery; postsynaptic sympathetic fibers pass to parotid gland and supply its blood vessels; medial pterygoid nerve (a branch of mandibular nerve CN V3) innervates the tensor veli palatini tensor veli palatini postsynaptic parasympathetic fibers are distributed to the sublingual and submandibular glands; sympathetic fibers supply sublingual and submandibular glands and appear to be vasoconstrictive enter the nose thru the pterygopalatine foramen; long runs obliquely downward and forward along the nasal septum and enters the mouth through the incisive canal; short is destined for the upper lateral wall of the nose lies between the carotid sheath and the prevertebral fascia; communicates with the ventral rami of the cervical spinal nerves by way of gray communicating branches lies in front of C1 and C2, anterior to the longus capitis; gives rise to the internal carotid plexus, the external carotid plexus, pharyngeal branches that form the pharyngeal plexus, and the superior cervcial cardiac nerve to the heart lies at the level of the cricoid cartilage; gives rise to the middle cervical cardiac nerve, largest of the three cervical sympathetic cardiac nerves lies in front of the neck of the first rib and the transverse process of C7, and behind the dome of the pleura and the vertebral artery; gives rise to the inferior cervical cardiac nerve; fuses with the 1st thoracic ganglion to become the stellate ganglion sympathetic fibers to the parotid gland levator scapulae; located in the posterior triangle emerging from behind the anterior scalene to run through the middle scalene and deep to the trapezius splenius capitis levator scapulae, anterior scalene posterior and middle scalene supply the skin of the neck and scalp; nerves also receive communicating branches from the

long and short pterygopalatine

sympathetic trunk

superior cervical ganglion


middle cervical ganglion


inferior cervical ganglion


external carotid plexus dorsal scapular nerve

superior cervical ganglion ventral primary rami of C5; branch of the brachial plexus

posterior rami of middle cervical spinal nerves cervical spinal nerves anterior rami of cervical spinal nerves cervical plexus

C3, C4, (C5, C6) C7 and C8 ventral (anterior) primary rami of C1-C4

lesser occipital

great auricular

transverse cervical


suprascapular nerve

ansa cervicalis


C2 and C3 C3 and C4 C3 greater occipital nerves of the parathyroid glands

superior cervical ganglion ascends along the posterior sternocleidomastiod to supply the skin of neck and scalp posterosuperior to the auricle C2-C3; branch of the ascends on the sternocleidomastoid to supply the skin over parotid gland, parotid sheath, posterior cervical plexus aspect of the auricle, and an area from the angle of the mandible to the mastoid process C2-C3; branch of the turns around the posterior border of the cervical plexus sternocleidomastoid to supply the skin of the anterior triangle C3-C4; branch of the emerges from under the sternocleidomastoid and cervical plexus divides into anterior, middle, and posterior branches to supply the skin over the clavicle and the shoulder C5-C6; superior trunk of supraspinatus and infraspinatus muscles; located the brachial plexus in the posterior triangle passing deep to the trapezius, thru the scapular notch under the superior transverse scapular ligament C1-C3; superior root sternohyoid, omohyoid, sternothyroid (C2-C3); runs with CN XII superior root C1 or C1 and C2, and the inferior root C2 and C3; lies superficial to or within the carotid sheath C3-C5 descends on the anterior surface of the anterior scalene under the sternocleidomastoid, passing between the subclavian artery and vein, crossing in front of the origin to the internal thoracic artery to provide the motor supply to the diaphragm pain and proprioception to sternocleidomastoid pain and proprioception to trapezius C2-C3 scalp, posterior to the auricles C2 scalp, posterior to the auricles thyroid branches of the vasomotor, not secretomotor superior or middle cervical sympathetic ganglia C2; branch of the cervical plexus