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Cranial Nerves - Eye

Last Updated: 03/28/17


  1. CN II - Optic Nerve
  2. CN III - Oculomotor Nerve
  3. CN IV - Trochlear Nerve
  4. CN VI - Abducens Nerve

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There are 12 pairs of nerves in the Central Nerve System, a left and a right nerve for each nerve type. Some control muscles and others control senses. The Visual Processing Center of the brain is the Occipital Lobe with different areas of the lobe affecting different areas in the visual field.

Four Cranial Nerve pairs control the eyes themselves, including; the Optic Nerve, the Oculomotor Nerve, the Trochlear Nerve and the Abducens Nerve.

  1. Cranial Nerve 2 (CN II) - Optic Nerve: Vision
  2. CNII (Cranial Nerve 2), carries Vision to the brain. This nerve does not contain Schwann cells.

  3. Cranial Nerve 3 (CN III) - Oculomotor Nerve: Muscles for the Eye
  4. CN3, (Cranial Nerve 3) has two functions it controls:

    • Levator Palpebrae Superioris Muscle: this muscle keeps the eyelids open
    • Constriction of the Pupils: adaption to changing light

  5. Cranial Nerve 4 (CN IV) - Trochlear Nerve: Muscles for Eye Movement
  6. CN IV (Cranial Nerve 4), controls eyeball movement, rotational, up, down, left and right.

  7. Cranial Nerve 6 (CN VI) - Abducens Nerve: Eye Movement
  8. Lateral Rectus Muscle: lateral vision - left to right

    Abducens Nerve