Definition The facial nerve seventh cranial nerve , CN VII , latin: nervus facialis is a mixed cranial nerve consisting of motor, sensory, and visceromotor fibers. The main functions of the facial nerve include controlling the muscles of facial expression, and providing taste sensations from the anterior part of the tongue. Functionally, the facial nerve consists of two parts: somatosensory and visceromotor part. The somatosensory part of the facial nerve provides the innervation for all of the facial expression muscles and the muscles of the neck, while the visceromotor part contributes to the parasympathetic innervation of the lacrimal gland, salivary glands, and mucous glands of the nasal cavity, also providing sensory fibers that transmit taste sensations from the tongue. The facial motor nucleus motor provides the facial nerve with general somatic efferent fibers, the superior salivatory nucleus parasympathetic gives rise to general visceral efferent fibers of the facial nerve , and the solitary tract nucleus or nucleus of the solitary tract nuclear complex sensory , which is responsible for taste sensation transmitted via special visceral afferent fibers of the facial nerve. The facial nerve emerges from the brainstem on its ventral surface in the cerebellopontine angle.
Facial nerve (CN VII)
The facial nerve is one of the twelve pairs of cranial nerves in the peripheral nervous system. Nerve signals from the cranial nerve play important roles in sensing taste as well as controlling the muscles of the face, salivary glands, and lacrimal glands. The facial nerve is the seventh cranial nerve to exit the brain when counting from anterior to posterior. As the facial nerve passes through the temporal bone, several smaller nerves branch off from the main nerve, including the greater superficial petrosal nerve and the chorda tympani. After passing through the stylomastoid foramen, the facial nerve emerges just inferior to the ear and splits into several superficial branches. Like all nerves, the facial nerve is made of thousands of individual neurons bundled together with connective tissue and blood vessels.
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The Facial Nerve (CN VII)
In this article, we shall look at the anatomical course of the nerve, and the motor, sensory and parasympathetic functions of its terminal branches. The course of the facial nerve is very complex. There are many branches, which transmit a combination of sensory, motor and parasympathetic fibres. The nerve arises in the pons , an area of the brainstem. It begins as two roots; a large motor root , and a small sensory root the part of the facial nerve that arises from the sensory root is sometimes known as the intermediate nerve.