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Main nerves of the head and neck: want to learn more about it?

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Main nerves of the head and neck

Learning objectives

This study unit will help you to:

  1. Identify the main nerves of the head and neck.
  2. Learn the main branches of those nerves and which areas they supply.

Watch video

The head and neck are supplied by the two major sources:

  • Cranial nerves I-XII, which originate from the brainstem and spinal cord, and supply the majority of the structures of the head.
  • Cervical plexus (C1-C5), formed by the anterior (ventral) rami of the upper five cervical spinal nerves. The motor and sensory branches of this plexus supply the majority of the structures of the neck.

This video tutorial will help you learn the main nerves of the head and neck:

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Browse atlas

Review the major nerves of the head and neck with our atlas galleries:


Key facts about the main nerves of the head and neck
Cranial nerves I-XII Nerves: Olfactory, optic, oculomotor, trochlear, trigeminal, abducent, facial, vestibulocochlear, glossopharyngeal, vagus, accessory, and hypoglossal nerves
Supply area:
Skin, muscles, and organs of the head; some muscles and organs of the neck; parts of thoracic and abdominal viscera.
Cervical plexus (C1-C5) Motor and sensory branches to supply the majority of the muscles, organs, and skin of the neck; and parts of thoracic viscera.

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