Table 62.2Brainstem Nuclei and Functions of the Facial Nerve

Brainstem structureFunctions and comments
Motor
Facial nucleusMotor to facial muscles: frontalis, orbicularis oculi, platysma, buccinator, posterior belly of digastric, stapedius, stylohyoid, soft palate. Brachial motor nucleus.
Lacrimal nucleusVisceral motor (parasympathetic) to lacrimal gland for tear secretion.
Superior salivatory nucleusVisceral motor (parasympathetic) to salivary glands for saliva secretion; also nasal glands.
Sensory
Nucleus solitarusSpecial visceral sensory. From taste buds of anterior two-thirds of tongue. Geniculate ganglion.
Nucleus of spinal tract and main sensory nucleus VGeneral somatic sensory. Sensation from anterior nasopharynx, including upper part of hard and soft palate. Also from tympanic membrane, part of external auditory canal, lateral surface of ear, and area behind the ear and over the mastoid process.

From: Chapter 62, Cranial Nerve VII: The Facial Nerve and Taste

Cover of Clinical Methods
Clinical Methods: The History, Physical, and Laboratory Examinations. 3rd edition.
Walker HK, Hall WD, Hurst JW, editors.
Boston: Butterworths; 1990.
Copyright © 1990, Butterworth Publishers, a division of Reed Publishing.

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