Definition: those nerves that emerge from, or enter, the cranium or skull, in contrast to the spinal nerves, which emerge from the spine or vertebral column. The 12 paired cranial nerves are the olfactory [CN I], optic [CN II], oculomotor [CN III], trochlear [CN IV], trigeminal [CN V], abducent [CN VI], facial [CN VII], vestibulocochlear [CN VIII], glossopharyngeal [CN IX], vagal [CN X], accessory [CN XI], and hypoglossal [CN XII] nerves.
Synonym(s): nervi cranialesTA
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