How to Remember the Cranial Nerves

Discussion in 'Anatomy' started by Hadeel Abdelkariem, May 31, 2019.

  1. Hadeel Abdelkariem

    Hadeel Abdelkariem Golden Member

    Apr 1, 2018
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    Are you learning the cranial nerves? Need a way to easily remember the cranial nerves? In this article, I am going to give you two awesome cranial nerve mnemonics to help you remember the order and function of the cranial nerves. One of the mnemonics I made up myself and the other I was taught.

    I remember learning the cranial nerves in my anatomy class and I had a hard time just trying to memorize them. I think most people are like you and me and need an easy way to remember.

    Video on How to Remember the Cranial Nerves

    Diagram of Cranial Nerves


    Function of the Cranial Nerves
    • Cranial Nerve I “Olfactory”: smell (try to remember this by thinking of a stinky factory putting out pollution)
    • Cranial Nerve II “Optic”: vision (optic is another word for eye and your eyes are responsible for vision)
    • Cranial Nerve III “Oculomotor”: moves eyelids, rotates eyeballs, adjust pupils and lens of the eye (oculo deals with the eye and motor mean movement)
    • Cranial Nerve IV “Trochlear”: moves eyeballs
    • Cranial Nerve V “Trigeminal”: largest of all the cranial nerves and responsible for moving facial muscles by chewing and facial sensations
    • Cranial Nerve VI “Abducens”: moves eyeballs
    • Cranial Nerve VII “Facial”: produces tears, allows for taste, form facial expressions, saliva production
    • Cranial Nerve VIII “Vestibulocochlear”: auditory (remember this by the word cochlear…think of cochlear implants that allow people to hear)
    • Cranial Nerve IX “Glossopharyngeal”: swallowing, saliva production, and taste
    • Cranial Nerve X “Vagus”: control PNS (peripheral nervous system)
    • Cranial Nerve XI “Accessory”: allows head and shoulders movement and allows for swallowing
    • Cranial Nerve XII “Hypoglossal”: formulate speech, moving tongue, swallowing
    Mnemonic for Order of Cranial Nerves
    Old Operators Occasionally Troubleshoot Tricky, Abducted Family Veterans Galloping ValiantlyAcross

    • Old: Olfactory
    • Operators: Optic
    • Occasionally: Oculomotor
    • Troubleshoot: Trochlear
    • Tricky: Trigeminal
    • Abducted: Abducens
    • Family: Facial
    • Veterans: Vestibulocochlear
    • Galloping: Glossopharyngeal
    • Valiantly: Vagus
    • Across: Accessory
    • History: Hypoglossal
    Mnemonic for Function of Cranial Nerves
    Some Say Marry Money But My Brother Says Big Brains Matter More

    • Cranial I: Sensory
    • Cranial II: Sensory
    • Cranial III: Motor
    • Cranial IV: Motor
    • Cranial V: Both (sensory & motor)
    • Cranial VI: Motor
    • Cranial VII: Both (sensory & motor)
    • Cranial VIII: Sensory
    • Cranial IX: Both (sensory & motor)
    • Cranial X: Both (sensory & motor)
    • Cranial XI: Motor
    • Cranial XII: Motor

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