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Anatomy Atlases: Atlas of Human Anatomy: Plate 25: Figure 1

Atlas of Human Anatomy

The base of the skull showing the course of the cranial nerves. The orbit, and the petrous portion of the temporal bone are opened from above and the cranial nerves are seen.

Translated by: Ronald A. Bergman, PhD and Adel K. Afifi, MD, MS
Peer Review Status: Internally Peer Reviewed


Magnified View (via Quicktime VR)

The base of the skull showing the course of the cranial nerves

a) Frontal bone.
b) Frontal sinus.
c) Internal frontal spine.
d) Foramen caecum.
e) Crista galli.
f) Frontal bone, orbital portion.
g) Cellulae of the ethmoidal bone.
h) Body of the sphenoid bone.
i) Greater wing of the sphenoid bone.
k) Occipital bone, basilar portion.
l) Temporal bone, squamous portion.
m) Temporal bone, petrous portion.
n) Optic foramen.
o) Foramen rotundum.
p) Foramen ovale.
q) Foramen spinosum.
r) Superior orbital fissure.
s) Tympanic cavity.
t) Internal auditory meatus (broken open from above).
u) Malleus, hammer (s. capitulum).
v) Incus (s. ambos).
w) Cochlea.
x) Superior semicircular canal.
y) Ocular bulb.
z) Lacrimal gland.

a) m. Lateral rectus.
b) m. Levator palpebrae superioris.
g) m. Superior rectus.
d) m. Superior oblique.
d*) Trochlea for superior oblique.
e) m. Medial rectus.
z) m. Temporalis (medial surface).
h) m. Lateral pterygoid.
q) Hypophysis (pituitary gland).
i) Foramen magnum.
k) Jugular foramen.
l) Hypoglossal canal (s. Anterior condyloid foramen).
m) Occipital bone (fossae cerebelli).
n) Transverse sinus.

  1. middle meningeal artery (branch of the maxillary artery).
  2. internal carotid artery.
  3. lacrymal artery.
  4. artery, muscle branch.
  5. supraorbital artery.
  6. ethmoidal artery.
  7. ophthalmic artery.
  8. optic nerve (CN II).
  9. oculomotor nerve (CN III).
  10. trochlear nerve (CN IV).
  11. trigeminal nerve (CN V).
  12. semilunar ganglion (s. Gasserian or trigeminal ganglion).
  13. mandibular nerve (s. maxillaris inferior) [branch of trigeminal nerve].
  14. maxillary nerve (s. maxillaries superior) [branch of trigeminal nerve].
  15. ophthalmic nerve, [branch of trigeminal nerve].
  16. frontal branch, ophthalmic nerve.
  17. lacrymal branch, ophthalmic nerve.
  18. nasal branch, ophthalmic nerve.
  19. ethmoidal branch, nasal nerve.
  20. infratrochlear branch, nasal nerve.
  21. supratrochlear branch, frontal nerve.
  22. supraorbital branch, frontal nerve.
  23. zygomatic branch, lacrymal nerve.
  24. lacrymal branch, lacrymal nerve.
  25. ciliary nerves (from the ciliary ganglion [s. ganglion opthalmicum]).
  26. nerve to the m. buccinator.
  27. deep temporal nerve.
  28. nerve to the m. masseter.
  29. superficial temporal nerve (s. auricularis anterior nerve).
  30. maxillary artery.
  31. nerves of the external auditory meatus.
  32. chorda tympani (of facial nerve).
  33. petrosus minor nerve [NA] (s. lesser superficial petrosal nerve).
  34. petrosus major nerve [NA] (s. greater superficial petrosal nerve, nervus Vidianus, nervus petrosus superficialis major) [carried in the genu of the facial nerve].
  35. abducens nerve (CN VI).
  36. facial nerve (CN VII) inner half of the internal auditory meatus.
  37. genu (facial nerve).
  38. facial nerve in the Fallopian canal.
  39. cochlear nerve (CN VIII).
  40. vestibular nerve (CN VIII).
  41. glossopharyngeal nerve (CN IX).
  42. vagus nerve (CN X).
  43. spinal accessory nerve of Willis (CN XI).
  44. hypoglossal nerve (CN XII).
  45. vertebral artery.
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