Cranial nerve nucleus

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Cranial nerve nucleus
The cranial nerve nuclei schematically represented; dorsal view. Motor nuclei in red; sensory in blue. (The olfactory and optic centers are not represented.)
Latin nucleus nervi cranialis
NeuroLex ID Cranial nerve nucleus
TA A14.1.00.004
FMA 54501
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

A cranial nerve nucleus is a collection of neurons (gray matter) in the brain stem that is associated with one or more cranial nerves. Axons carrying information to and from the cranial nerves form a synapse first at these nuclei. Lesions occurring at these nuclei can lead to effects resembling those seen by the severing of nerve(s) they are associated with. All the nuclei except that of the trochlear nerve (CN IV) supply nerves of the same side of the body.


Motor and sensory[edit]

In general, motor nuclei are closer to the front (ventral), and sensory nuclei and neurons are closer to the back (dorsal). This arrangement mirrors the arrangement of tracts in the spinal cord.


This list documents nuclei by the part of the brain they are found in: