Here is a brief description of the 12 cranial nerves.
This is a type of sensory nerve that contributes in the sense of
smell in human beings. These basically provide the specific cells
that are termed as olfactory epithelium. It carries the information
from the nasal epithelium to the olfactory center in brain.
This is a type of sensory nerve that transforms information
about vision to the brain. To be specific this supplies information
to the retina in the form of ganglion cells.
This is a form of motor nerve that supplies to different centers
along the midbrain. Its functions include superiorly uplifting the eyelid,
superiorly rotating the eyeball, construction of the pupil on the exposure
to light and operating several eye muscles.
This motor nerve also supplies to the midbrain and performs the
function of handling the eye muscles and turning the eye.
This is a type of the largest cranial nerve in all and performs many
sensory functions related to the nose, eyes, tongue and teeth. It
basically is further divided in three branches that are ophthalmic,
maxillary and mandibular nerve. This is a type of mixed nerve that
performs sensory and motor functions in the brain.
This is a type of motor nerve that supplies to the pons and
performs the function of turning the eye laterally.
This motor nerve is responsible for different types of facial
expressions. This also performs some functions of sensory nerve by
supplying information about touch on the face and senses of
mouth. It is basically present over the brain stem.
This motor nerve is basically functional in providing information
related to balance of head and sense of sound or hearing. It carries
vestibular as well as cochlear information to the brain and is
placed near the inner ear.
This is a sensory nerve which carries sensory information from
pharynx (initial portion of throat) and some portion of tongue and
palate. The information sent is about temperature, pressure and
other related facts.
It also covers some portion of taste buds and salivary glands.
The nerve also carries some motor functions such as helping in
This is also a type of mixed nerve that carries both motor and
sensory functions. This basically deals with the area of the pharynx,
larynx, esophagus, trachea, bronchi, some portion of heart and
palate. It works by constricting muscles of the above areas. In
sensory part, it contributes in the tasting ability of the human
11. Spinal accessory
As the name intimates this motor nerve supplies information about
the spinal cord, trapezius and other surrounding muscles. It also
provides muscle movement of the shoulders and surrounding neck.
This is a typical motor nerve that deals with the muscles of