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peripheral nervous system

the section of the nervous system lying outside the brain and spinal cord AKA PNS


any bundle of nerve fibers running to various organs and tissues of the body


delicate connective tissue around individual nerve fibers in nerve


connective tissue that covers a bundle of nerve fibers


Bundle of nerve or muscle fibers bound together by connective tissue.


outermost layer of connective tissue on the spinal nerve; a dense network of collagen fibers

mixed nerves

nerves composed of both sensory and motor fibers

sensory nerves

AKA afferent nerves, carry messages to the brain & spinal cord from a receptor; afferent nerves

cranial nerves

12 pairs of nerves arising from the brain

olfactory nerve

CN I the nerve that carries impulses from olfactory receptors in the nose to the brain

optic nerve

CN II the cranial nerve that serves the retina

oculomotor nerve

CN III supplies extrinsic muscles of the eye


CNIV either of the two cranial nerves on either side that control the superior oblique muscles of the eyes


CN V the main sensory nerve of the face and motor nerve for the muscles of mastication


CN VI a small motor nerve supplying the lateral rectus muscle of the eye

facial nerve

CNVII; mixed nerve that controls muscles of the scalp and face. provides sensations over the face and receives taste information from the tongue.


CN VIII hearing and balance


CN IX; swallowing, salication, gag reflex, sensation from tongue and ear


CN X a mixed nerve that supplies the pharynx and larynx and lungs and heart and esophagus and stomach and most of the abdominal viscera

accessory nerve

CNXI; has an internal branch which innervates voluntary swallowing muscles of the soft palate and pharynx, and an external branch, which controls muscles associated with the pectoral girdle


CNXII supplies intrinsic muscles of the tongue and other tongue muscles

spinal nerves

31 pairs of nerves arising from the spinal cord

dorsal rami

branch of spinal nerve that supplies nerves to muscle of the back and the skin

ventral rami

spinal nerves T2 - T12 pass anteriorly as the intercostal nerves to supply the muscles of the anterior and lateral trunk


Formed from groups of nerves that join together to do a common function after they have left the spinal cord

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