Master CN VII with Picmonic for Medicine

With Picmonic, facts become pictures. We've taken what the science shows - image mnemonics work - but we've boosted the effectiveness by building and associating memorable characters, interesting audio stories, and built-in quizzing.


Brainstem (7) Lotion Dispenser
CN VII is also known as the facial nerve and it has both motor and sensory functions. The nerve provides taste sensation from the anterior 2/3 of the tongue. Motor functions of the nerve include control of the muscles of facial expression, the stapedius muscle in the middle ear, and closing of the eyelid.
Facial Nerve

The nucleus of the facial nerve is located in the brainstem between the pons and medulla. It is named the facial nerve because of its motor and sensory functions in the face. The nerve passes through the internal auditory meatus and then the parotid gland in the face. It can be damaged during surgery for head and neck cancers.


CN VII provides parasympathetic innervation to the lacrimal gland which secretes tears.


The chorda tympani branch of CN VII provides parasympathetic innervation to the submandibular and sublingual glands which are responsible for salivation.


Along with CN IX, CN VII is most responsible sensing taste.

Taste from Anterior 2/3 of Tongue
Anterior 2/3 of Tongue with Taste-sensors

The chorda tympani branch of CN VII is responsible for taste sensation for the anterior 2/3 of the tongue via the fungiform and foliate papillae.


CN VII is responsible for various motor functions of the face.

Facial Movement
Facial Massage

When testing for CN VII damage, facial movement is assessed by asking the patient to smile (and show teeth), frown, puff out his/her cheeks against the examiner’s pressure. Bell’s palsy is an idiopathic facial nerve paralysis which manifests as ipsilateral facial paralysis and inability to close the ipsilateral eye.

Stapedius Muscle

CN VII innervates the stapedius muscle in the middle ear which stabilizes the stapes and prevents sounds from being too loud.

Eyelid Closing
Eyelid Closed

When testing for CN VII damage the patient is asked to close his/her eyes as the examiner exerts opposing pressure to open them. Note: CN III is responsible for eyelid opening.

Unlock all 9 facts & definitions with Picmonic Free!

Take the CN VII Quiz

Picmonic's rapid review multiple-choice quiz allows you to assess your knowledge.

It's worth every penny

Our Story Mnemonics Increase Mastery and Retention

Memorize facts with phonetic mnemonics

Unforgettable characters with concise but impactful videos (2-4 min each)

Ace Your Medicine (MD/DO) Classes & Exams with Picmonic:

Over 1,240,000 students use Picmonic’s picture mnemonics to improve knowledge, retention, and exam performance.

Choose the #1 Medicine (MD/DO) student study app.

Picmonic for Medicine (MD/DO) covers information that is relevant to your entire Medicine (MD/DO) education. Whether you’re studying for your classes or getting ready to conquer the USMLE Step 1, USMLE Step 2 CK, COMLEX Level 1, or COMLEX Level 2, we’re here to help.

Works better than traditional Medicine (MD/DO) flashcards.

Research shows that students who use Picmonic see a 331% improvement in memory retention and a 50% improvement in test scores.