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Facial nerve [VII]

Other Terms: Seventh cranial nerve, Facial nerve tree, Branchiomeric cranial nerve, Facial nerve [VII], Nervus facialis, Nerve VII, Nervus facialis [VII]


The seventh cranial or facial nerve is comprised of two portions. The pars intermedia arises deeply from the forepart to the nucleus of the ninth cranial or glossopharyngeal nerve, in the floor of the fourth ventricle of the brain. Its superficial origin is at the lower border of the pons. The pars intermedia is considered a portion of the glossopharyngeal or ninth cranial nerve. The facial nerve proper has its deep origin in the floor of the fourth ventricle. Its fibers wind around the nucleus of the sixth cranial nerve. It arises superficially from the medulla oblongata in the groove between the olivary and restiform bodies. The facial is a motor and sensory nerve. Its range of distribution is large. It has many connections with other nerves. Its sensory portion carries taste input from the tasted buds of the anterior two thirds of the tongue and sensations from the skin of the external ear. Its motor portion supplies all of the facial expression muscles which include: Occipitofrontalis, procerus, orbiculis oculi, nasalis, levator labii superioris alaeque nasi, levator labii superioris, orbicularis oculi, buccinator, zygomaticus major, zygomaticus minor, mentalis, platysma, depressor labii inferioris, depressor anguli oris, and the auricularis group. It also supplies the digastricus, submandibular and sublingual glands, and is the autonomic motor supply to the lacrimal gland. It branches into the chorda tympani nerve, facial nerve proper, and the greater petrosal nerve.




To muscles of facial expression, posterior belly of digastric, stylohyoid, stapedius. Tastes anterior two thirds of tongue/palate. Salivates (submandibular, sublingual glands.) Tears (lacrimal gland.) Makes mucus (nasal and palatineglands.)

Travels through

Internal auditory meatus

Region Innervated

Face, nasal, and oral cavity (branches leave skull in stylomastoid foramen, petrotympanic fissure, or hiatus of facial canal)


Nervus facialis


Nerve VII


Nervus facialis [VII]


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