Cranial nerve II is also known as the optic nerve. Its cells of origin are located in the retina, and majority of axons terminate in the lateral geniculate body. It is derived from the diencephalon during embryonic development and is thus considered part of the central nervous system.
Cranial nerve II is classified as a special sensory nerve, carrying visual information from the retina.
The optic nerve trasmits visual information from the retina via the retinal ganglion cells. The retina is composed of several interconnected neuronal layers, with light-sensitive photoreceptor cells known as rods and cones that encode visual information in their action potentials. The retina contains a blind spot in the location where the optic nerve exits the eye, as there are no photoreceptors in this location, while the fovea marks the location of highest visual acuity.
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