Here is a brief description of the 12 cranial
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
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
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 tongue
in 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 the pharynx (initial portion of
throat) and some portion of tongue and palate.
The information sent is about temperature, pressure and other related
It also covers some portion of taste buds and
salivary glands. The nerve also carries some motor functions such as
helping in swallowing food.
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