Video: Cranial nerves quizzes and labeling exercises
Learn how to identify the 12 cranial nerves with fun labeling worksheets and quizzes.
Cranial nerves – just thinking about them is enough to give me a headache. This is definitely one of the most challenging subjects among anatomy students but no more headaches, people. We have the ... Read more
Cranial nerves – just thinking about them is enough to give me a headache. This is definitely one of the most challenging subjects among anatomy students but no more headaches, people. We have the cure.
Before I go into how you should learn the cranial nerves, I will quickly introduce you to these lovely fellas. You'll see, they're not so scary. They're kind of cute. The cranial nerves are a set of 12 pairs of peripheral nerves emerging from the brain. They exit the cranium through foramina and fissures which are these holes we have in our skulls. This location of exit from rostral to caudal or from top to bottom in our image is what determines their numerical order. They innervate structures of the head and neck and one of them extends beyond the neck to innervate thoracic and abdominal viscera.
The cranial nerves originate from nuclei in the brain and most of them are located in the brainstem. But how do you learn to easily identify the different cranial nerves? Today, we're going to teach you how to use two methods – labeling worksheets and quizzes.
Let me first show you how you can do it with worksheets like this one that I have here in my hand. You can download this worksheet for free by heading over to our website at kenhub.com and search for cranial nerves. In our Free Knowledge Library, you'll find this first article ‘Cranial nerves quizzes and labeling exercises.’ Click on it and it will take you to this page, scroll down all the way to where you can find the button ‘Download PDF Worksheet (Blank).’ Click on this button and here is your worksheet ready to print. Alternatively, you can also label it on your tablet. To make things easier for you, I will leave a link to the worksheet in the video description below.
Before you start labeling, take a moment to look at the overview image from that previous page where you downloaded the worksheet. This image shows an inferior view of the brain. Use this opportunity to familiarize yourself with the different cranial nerves paying special attention to the location where they emerge from the brain. And now, you are ready to start labeling.
We will follow the numerical order of the cranial nerves, meaning that we are going from rostral to caudal. Just remember that the names of the cranial nerves reflect their general distribution and function.
Let's begin with cranial nerve I, or the olfactory nerve. The olfactory nerve is a sensory nerve that innervates the olfactory mucosa within the nasal cavity and carries information about smell to the brain. Moving on to the next one, cranial nerve II, or optic nerve. The optic nerve is also a sensory nerve. It innervates the retina of the eye and brings visual information to the brain.
Next up comes cranial nerve III, or oculomotor nerve. As the name suggests, this nerve is the chief motor nerve supplying the eye. It enables eye movement, constriction of the pupil or miosis, and lens accommodation. After that, we have cranial nerve IV, or trochlear nerve, right here coming from the posterior aspect of the midbrain where it emerged. The trochlear nerve is a motor nerve that supplies one extraocular muscle – the superior oblique muscle – thus playing a role in eye movement.
And here we have a quite large nerve, cranial nerve V, or trigeminal nerve. As the name implies, the trigeminal nerve has three divisions. This is a mixed nerve that supplies sensation to the facial skin. Next, we have here at the center, cranial nerve VI, or abducens nerve. This is a motor nerve that supplies one extraocular muscle – the lateral rectus muscle – thus playing an important role in eye movement.
The next one that we can find here lateral to the previous nerve is cranial nerve VII, or facial nerve. The facial nerve is a mixed nerve involved in facial expression, secretion of salivary and lacrimal glands, and taste sensation. Lateral and inferiorly to facial nerve emerges cranial nerve VIII, or vestibulocochlear nerve. This is a sensory nerve responsible for hearing, balance, and motion.
Inferiorly to the vestibulocochlear nerve, we have this tiny nerve right here – cranial nerve IX or known also as the glossopharyngeal nerve. It is a mixed nerve that enables swallowing, salivation, taste sensation, and general oral cavity sensations. Continuing inferiorly, you can see this nerve here which we are going to label as cranial nerve X, or vagus nerve. This is a mixed nerve involved in several processes such as gland secretion, peristalsis, phonation, taste, as well as the visceral and general sensation of the head, thorax, and abdomen. It is the longest cranial nerve and the only one to leave the head and neck region traveling all the way to the thoracic and abdominal cavities.
The nerve that emerges more inferiorly has a broader origin and even has a component that comes from the spinal cord is this nerve right here cranial nerve XI, or accessory nerve. This is a motor nerve that enables phonation and movements of the head and shoulders. Finally, and emerging anterior to the previous nerves, we have cranial nerve XII, or hypoglossal nerve. The hypoglossal nerve is the motor nerve that enables tongue movements.
And that is it, we are done labeling our worksheet as you can see here. I hope you are as proud as I am of this beauty. But there is still something missing here. Remember? Yeah, that's right. We still have to talk about quizzes.
Quizzes are a great way to study as they help you recall information and they can also be a lot of fun, let me tell you. We have quizzes to suit every level from beginner through advanced. If you're just starting out learning about the cranial nerves, quizzes on basic identification would be a great place to begin. If you have a bit more experience in this topic, try our advanced identification. But if you fancy more of a challenge and feel confident enough – and I'm talking Beyonce confident – you can go to our Exam Question Bank, full of questions about details related to the cranial nerves such as clinical anatomy.
As you progress through the quiz, our intelligent algorithm identifies gaps in your knowledge based on your answers, and for those areas, you'll automatically get tested on them more frequently.
So what do you say? Are you up for the challenge? When you're ready, check out the link to our quizzes that we left in the video description below. Remember to also subscribe to our YouTube channel for more videos like this one so you can see me in action with these beautiful worksheets. Please let us know what you think about this tricky topic in the comments below, and very important, like this video. It's a way of telling us that you want to see more of these videos.
Until then, I will see you next time.
Very dramatic telenovela. I discovered that you're the father – (of all my nephews). Wow, that was a twist. Try it again. So we have variety…okay, variety. That's what we want. Variety everywhere, everywhere, options.