Cranial Nerve – Physical Exam

Cranial Nerve Exam:

Cranial nerves are nerves that emerge directly from the brain and the brainstem, in contrast to spinal nerves (which emerge from various segments of the spinal cord). Information is exchanged between the brain and various regions, primarily of the head and neck, via the cranial nerves.

Nerve name Nerve no. Function Type
Olfactory nerve 1 Smell Sensory
Optic nerve 2 Vision, sight Sensory
Oculomotor nerve 3 Eye movement, Pupillary constriction, accommodation, eyelid opening Motor
Trochlear nerve 4 Eye movement (superior oblique muscle) Motor
Trigeminal nerve 5 Mastication, Facial sensation, Corneal reflex Sensory and Motor
Abducens never 6 Eye movement (lateral rectus) Motor
Facial never 7 Facial movement, taste from anterior 2/3 of tongue, lacrimation, salivation, eyelid closing, stapedius muscle in ear Sensory and Motor
Vestibulocochlear nerve 8 Hearing, balance Sensory
Glossopharyngeal nerve 9 Taste from posterior 1/3 of tongue, swallowing, salivation (parotid gland), monitoring carotid body and sinus chemo- and baroreceptors Sensory and Motor
Vegus nerve 10 Taste from epiglottic region, swallowing, palate elevation, midline uvula, talking, coughing, thoracoabdominal viscera, monitoring aortic arch chemo- and baroreceptors Sensory and Motor
Accessory nerve 11 Head turning, shoulder shrugging (SCM, trapezius) Motor
Hypoglossal nerve 12 Tongue movement Motor


This video on cranial nerve exam aims to give you an idea of what’s required in the Cranial Nerve Examination OSCE.
To see the written guide alongside the video head over to our website

Please like us on FACEBOOK
Please follow us on TWITTER at

Always adhere to your medical schools / local hospital trusts guidelines when performing examinations or clinical procedures. Do NOT perform any examination or procedure on patients based purely upon the content of these videos. Geeky Medics accepts no liability for loss of any kind incurred as a result of reliance upon information provided in this video. Follow us on Instagram at


(Visited 1,143 times, 7 visits today)

Other Videos You Might Like:

0 0 votes
Article Rating
Notify of

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Inline Feedbacks
View all comments