2-Minute Neuroscience: Facial Nerve (Cranial Nerve VII)

2-Minute Neuroscience: Facial Nerve (Cranial Nerve VII)


Welcome to 2 minute neuroscience, where I
explain neuroscience topics in 2 minutes or less. In this installment I will discuss the facial
nerve. The facial nerve, also known as cranial nerve
VII, is best known for its role in controlling the muscles of facial expression, as well
as a number of other muscles of the face and head such as certain muscles involved with
swallowing and jaw movement, muscles of the external ear, and the stapedius muscle, which
is found in the middle ear and is involved with dampening loud noises. The facial nerve also receives sensory information
from the outer ear and from the taste buds on the anterior two-thirds of the tongue,
and it supplies most major glands in the head, including the lacrimal glands for tear production,
the submandibular and sublingual salivary glands, and the mucous glands of the nose,
paranasal sinuses, and palate. The facial nerve is associated with several
nuclei in the brainstem. The motor portion of the facial nerve originates
in the facial motor nucleus in the pons. The portion of the nerve that supplies the
glands mentioned previously originates from the superior salivatory nucleus in the pons. Taste information travels to the nucleus of
the solitary tract in the medulla. And the sensory information from the outer
ear travels to the spinal trigeminal nucleus in the medulla. Facial nerve damage can cause a variety of
symptoms, but the most recognizable of them is weakness and/or paralysis of the muscles
of facial expression on the same side of the head that the damaged nerve supplies. The patient’s mouth on the affected side
may droop, and he may be unable to close the eye on the affected side. In most cases of facial nerve palsy, the cause
of the dysfunction is not known; when this is the case it is referred to as Bell’s
palsy.

About the Author: Earl Hamill

13 Comments

  1. Your videos are really great and so helpful, though I think you should either put the topic in the thumbnail or skip "2-Minute Neuroscience" in the title of the video for easier surfing of your videos. Like right now I'd like to see if you've made a video on a specific topic but the title is so long I have to open each video and see to find out. Amazing channel, by the way, keep it up!

  2. Thanks for the great video. I had Bell's Palsy as a young teenager ( about 55 years ago). The Dr.s were surprised that someone that young had it. It still bothers me when I am tired or in the wind.

    Have you done any videos on tinnitus? I have been bothered by it for the past few years.

    Also, I went to school with your dad for a few years at Wilkes. I will be ordering your new book.

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