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The Twelve Pairs of Cranial Nerves and Their Mnemonics

There are twelve cranial nerves attached to the brain and pass through various foramina in the skull. The first two attach to the forebrain, the rest to the brain stem. The Vagus nerve (X) extends into the abdomen. These nerves are numbered from one to twelve (I-XII) in a rostral to caudral direction. Various mnemonics are used to remember the names or first letters of the cranial nerves for example: Oh, Oh, Oh, to touch and feel very good velvet, such heaven!. A summary table lists the number and names of the cranial nerves as well as whether it is a sensory/motor function, and has parasympathetic fibers.

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The Twelve Cranial Nerves

I. Olfactory: sensory nerves of smell

II. Optic: sensory nerve of vision which is not necessarily a true nerve. It develop as an outgrowth of the brain and is called a brain tract.

III. Oculomotor: this means "eye mover". This nerve innervates four of the extrinsic eye muscles-muscles that move the eyeball in the orbit.

IV. Trochlear: Means "pulley". This nerve innervates an extrinsic eye muscle that hooks through a ...

Solution Summary

This solution is comprised of an outline description of the twelve cranial nerves and their functions. The MS Word document contains a table of the cranial nerves showing whether they are sensory or motor functions, and whether they have parasympathetic fibers. This solution also contains a few mnemonics to help students remember the cranial nerves.

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