Accessory Nerve

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Related to Accessory nerves: eleventh cranial nerve, nervus accessorius, CN11

accessory nerve

[ak′ses·ə·rē ‚nərv]
(neuroscience)
The eleventh cranial nerve in tetrapods, a paired visceral motor nerve; the bulbar part innervates the larynx and pharynx, and the spinal part innervates the trapezius and sternocleidomastoid muscles.

Nerve, Accessory

 

(nervus accessorius, or nerve of Willis, after the English physician T. Willis, who first described it in 1664), the 11th pair of cranial nerves.

The accessory nerve originates in the medulla oblongata and the spinal cord. It emerges from the cranial cavity with the glossopharyngeal and vagus nerves through the jugular foramen and supplies motor fibers to the sternocleidomastoid muscle on the neck (with unilateral contraction, this muscle inclines the head to the side and turns the face in the opposite direction) and to the trapezius muscle on the back (it raises the pectoral girdle and adducts the scapula). Some of the fibers of the accessory nerve are connected to the vagus nerve and with its branches reach the muscles of the soft palate, the pharynx, and the larynx.

References in periodicals archive ?
In addition to the anatomical literature previously cited, in a different anatomy atlas the retro-olive groove is appointed as the apparent origin of the glossopharyngeal, vagus and accessory nerves (Higashida, 2001).
This aimed to identify the apparent origin of the glossopharyngeal, vagus and accessory nerves in the medulla oblongata.
Out of the 120 brainstems studied, it was found that in all of them, namely 100% of the neuro-anatomical pieces, corresponding to 240 retro-olivary grooves, the apparent source of the glossopharyngeal, vagus and accessory nerves, form a continuous line of nerve fibers that emerges from the medulla oblongata, oriented from top to bottom.
The glossopharyngeal nerve and inferior petrosal sinus share the anterior compartment, the vagus nerve and accessory nerve lie within the middle compartment, while the large posterior compartment is occupied by the termination of the sigmoid sinus (Sinnatamby).