There are 12 cranial nerves, which have nuclei located in the tegmentum of the brain stem. These nerves classified as either sensory, motor, or both.
CN I, the olfactory nerve, relays smell.
Cranial nerve II, the optic nerve, conveys sight.
Cranial nerve VIII, the vestibulocochlear nerve, propagates the sensation of sound, but also helps sense balance.
Cranial nerve III, the oculomotor nerve, helps the eye move, while allowing pupillary constriction, accommodation, as well as eyelid opening.
Cranial nerve IV, the trochlear nerve, innervates the superior oblique muscle, helping the eye rotate medially.
The abducens nerve, CN VI, innervates the lateral rectus. This helps the eye abduct and move laterally.
The accessory nerve, CN XI, which helps the motor functions of shoulder shrugging (trapezius muscle) and head turning (sternocleidomastoid muscle).
CN XII, the hypoglossal nerve, allows tongue movement.
The trigeminal nerve, CN V, conveys facial sensation and anterior tongue somatosensation. It also has motor function to allow mastication.
The facial nerve, CN VII, conveys the sensation of taste from the anterior tongue. It also has motor functions of facial movement, eyelid closing, movement of the stapedius muscle, lacrimation and salivation.
The glossopharyngeal nerve, CN IX, conveys the sensation of taste from the posterior tongue, and senses carotid pressure. It has the motor functions of allowing swallowing and innervating the stylopharyngeus muscle.
The vagus nerve, CN X, senses taste from the epiglottis and monitors aortic arch receptors. It has motor functions of allowing swallowing, soft palate elevation, talking and coughing.
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