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Head and neck region
Other Terms: Head, Neck, Neck muscles
The muscles of the head and neck perform a wide variety of functions and come in a variety of shapes and sizes. Some of these muscles are the smallest muscles of the body, others have the highest ratio of neuron to muscle fibers in the body, and others can generate more force per unit area than any other muscle. They perform functions that range from chewing food to manipulating speech, from moving the eyes to creating the wide variety of facial expressions, and they even modify the strength of the sound waves approaching the inner ear. This is a diverse group of muscles that develop from a variety of different embryonic muscle primordia — the branchial, or pharyngeal, arches, the head somites, and the trunk somites. A variety of different nerves supply innervation to this diverse group of muscles.