facial nerve [CN VII]
Definition: nerve with origin in the tegmentum of the lower portion of the pons; it emerges from the brain at the posterior border of the pons; it leaves the cranial cavity through the internal acoustic meatus, where it is joined by the intermediate nerve, traverses the facial canal in the petrous portion of the temporal bone, and exits through the stylomastoid foramen; after supplying the stapedius, occipitalis, auricular, stylohyoid, and posterior belly of the digastric muscles, its main trunk ramifies within the parotid gland forming the intraparotid plexus, the various branches of which pass to the muscles of facial expression.
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