Brain - Names of the 12 cranial nerves, Parts of Brain

Published on 11-Sep-2022


The brain is one of the most important organs with many functions. It controls our emotions, activities, the things we remember, the tasks we do regularly, how we react to different events, our hunger, all the hormones, motions, skills, vision, etc. In short, it controls our entire body and all its functions. The brain and the spinal cord, both of them together, complete the central nervous system. The brain can be divided into three parts; the forebrain, the midbrain, and the hindbrain. There are seven parts of the entire brain: cerebral cortex, cerebellum, hypothalamus, thalamus, pituitary gland, pineal gland, amygdala, hippocampus, and; lastly, the mid-brain.

The most significant part of the brain is the cerebrum which regulates the body's temperature and the movement of an organism. 

A brain is made of soft tissue with gray and white matter. Small blood vessels, non-neuronal cells, and nerve cells are all present in brain. The brain also has a high amount of water and fat. The brain looks pinkish-brown in color as it contains many tiny blood vessels called capillaries.

The white matter in the brain is buried deep, so it can't be seen much, whereas the gray matter is mainly found on the brain's surface. Hence, the brains also look a little grayish. The size of the human brain is about 5.5 x 6.5 x 3.6 inches which are 140 x 167 x 93 mm in millimeters. It has a weight of about 3 pounds and 1.3 kg in kilograms. The brain is very soft. The brain needs to be calm and work properly, or it can cause diseases. 

 The forebrain or Prosencephalon- is the largest region of our brain. It contains the thalamus, hypothalamus, epithalamus, and subthalamus. The forebrain controls many bodily functions, including receiving and processing necessary information, thinking about something, producing and understanding a specific language, and maintaining the way we move. The principal divisions of the forebrain are the diencephalon and telencephalon.

Midbrain or Mesencephalon- is the forward-most portion of the brain. It controls functions like vision and hearing, the motor, sleep, waking cycle, and alertness and regulates the body's temperature. It is the smallest part of the brain, with a length of about 2 cm. It contains various cranial nerve nuclei, tectum, tegmentum, colliculi, and crura cerebri.

Hindbrain or Rhombencephalon- is located in the lower back part of the brain that includes most of the brainstem. It also has a dense coral-shaped structure called the cerebellum, and the cerebellum is the largest structure of the hindbrain. It controls all our body's unconscious processes and jobs, such as your sleep-wake cycle and breathing. The parts of the hindbrain are the pons, cerebellum, and medulla oblongata.  

Ventricles of the brain- the brain's ventricles are located in the brain parenchyma. They are a network of cavities that are filled with cerebrospinal fluid. There are a total of 4 ventricles in our brain. The names of the brain's four ventricles are two lateral ventricles, the third ventricle, and the fourth ventricle. The ventricles filled with the cerebrospinal fluid help keep the brain buoyant and cushioned. This fluid is also able to fill large open structures that are known as ventricles. These structures lie deep inside our brains and are very important to us.  

Human cranial nerves- 12 paired nerves in the back of our brain. The cranial nerves in our brain send electrical signals between our brain, face, neck, and torso. They help us taste, smell, and feel sensations or emotions. They also cause us to make facial expressions, blink our eyes, and move our tongues.

The names of the 12 cranial nerves are:

  1. Olfactory nerve
  2. Optic nerve
  3. Oculomotor nerve
  4. Trochlear nerve
  5. Trigeminal nerve
  6. Abducens nerve
  7. Facial nerve
  8. Vestibulocochlear nerve
  9. Glossopharyngeal nerve
  10. Vagus nerve
  11. Accessory nerve
  12. Hypoglossal nerve

All these nerves have individual roles in our brain that pass certain impulses to the brain or from the brain to other parts of our body. 

Sensory nerve- the sensory nerves help us carry signals to our brain that will help us touch, taste, smell, and see things around our surroundings.

The names of the five sensory nerves are mechanoreceptors, thermoreceptors, nociceptors, electromagnetic receptors, and chemoreceptors.

The sensory nerve damage can cause various symptoms as they have many body functions that they control. It can damage the ability to feel vibrations and touch the hands and feet. People might feel they are wearing tight gloves and stockings even when they are not wearing them. 

The motor nerve is located in the central nervous system but is usually found in the spinal cord. It sends motor signals from the CNS to the muscles of our body when it is required to move. To prevent diseases, you need to take a high number of antioxidants and vitamin E to decrease the risk of MND.  

Mixed nerves- are composed of both motor and sensory fibers. It helps to transmit messages in both directions at the same time. The mixed nerves perform both the actions of sensory nerves and motor nerves. 


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