A Map of the Cranial Nerves

Cranial Nerves Map
What do you think of this? I’ve been putting this together, probably, for the last couple of years.
I was driven by the aim to visually represent, in a format that most of us recognise and can navigate easily, what the cranial nerves link to. That is, which structures send and receive information via neurones of the cranial nerves? Which cranial nerves supply what structures in those regards? I’ve seen this information represented in a number of ways, but never like this. I’m hoping that this will be a single resource to answer questions about cranial nerves. You could call it up on your computer, phone or tablet, look at the poster printed in the lab, or keep a paper copy in your pocket or bag.
There’s a lot more information that could be added, but hopefully the reader will be clear on what type of neurone is involved by the type of structure to a certain extent (no motor fibres run to the teeth, for example), but I haven’t highlighted parasympathetic neurones or all the ganglia. I have tried to group structures together, but I haven’t tried to recreate individual nerves entirely. If you stare at the thing long enough you may start to see a nose, a tongue and who knows what else?
There is room for future revised editions here, but I had to stop at some point and put the thing out for use and review.
If you care to, let me know what you think.
Download the full size pdf here (254Kb).
Creative Commons License
Cranial Nerve Map by Samuel Webster is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.

2 thoughts on “A Map of the Cranial Nerves

  • This poster is fantastic (but then again I do like maps, so anything represented in map form is always going to get my interest!), but I have an idea for one thing that could possibly be added – although you may well have considered this already:
    After Eye Week, and finding out there are a zillion different named branches of cranial nerves, I figure it might be a nice addition to add the names of those branches as well. My first thought was for the branch names to be at the ‘terminus’ of the respective branch, although this obviously couldn’t be the case for pre-terminal branch names.
    Other than that, like I say, it’s great for revision purposes (and just generally as a poster)!

  • Thanks David.
    I think your idea would work as a separate poster that would, maybe, show the layout of the cranial nerves (how they branch, how those branches come together, and so on). The cranial nerves map tries to avoid forming those branches to keep itself as simple and diagrammatic as possible.
    Thanks for the idea though – I’ll add it to my project list.

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