The geniculate ganglion contains special sensory neuronal cell bodies for taste, from fibers coming up from the tongue through the chorda tympani and from fibers coming up from the roof of the palate through the greater petrosal nerve. Sensory and parasympathetic inputs are carried into the geniculate ganglion via the nervus intermedius. Motor fibers are carried via the facial nerve proper. The greater petrosal nerve, which carries sensory fibers as well as preganglionic parasympathetic fibers, emerges from the anterior aspect of the ganglion.
The geniculate ganglion is one of several ganglia of the head and neck. Like the others, it is a bilaterally distributed structure, with each side of the face having a geniculate ganglion.