Spinal Nerves vs. Cranial Nerves

How Spinal And Cranial Nerves Differ

Spinal or cranial nerve? What’s the difference again? These may not be a frequent thought in your mind but these are surely important parts of your body that ironically, allows you to have those other frequent thoughts or function in any way possible. These two may be closely related but you can watch out for their differences according to some factors. Surely, you will find this topic very stimulating to your brain and maybe even body now you have knowledge of how movement, perception and all other activities work.

What Are Cranial Nerves And How Do They Function?

All nerves will lead to the brain. Those which are directly connected to the brain are called cranial nerves. The most well known is the olfactory nerve which are used for human sense of smell that pick up odor stimuli from the nasal mucous membranes. According to some people, the olfactory nerves are unique and special in that it is able to recuperate when damaged. On the other hand, there are also special nerves for your sense of sight called optical nerves that work by using photoreceptors impulse that are directed to the retina followed by the visual cortex. The sense of sight is not only enforced with nerves but also with muscles and works similar to how a camera zooms in on a scene.

Another type of nerve is the trochlear which acts to control the direction of gaze of the eye either up or down. Another nerve, the abducens, is part of the six nerves that control the eyes’ motion. Trigeminal acts on the some of the muscles to move facial features as well as detect any stimuli. Facial nerve acts also on the facial features of a person particularly the area of the lips. The nerve that follows is the vestibulocochlear Glossopharyngeal controls the tongue and therefore is responsible for the sense of taste. The vagus nerve allows for the manipulation of muscles that function when a person is eating, chewing or talking. Accessory nerves will provide bigger movements of the head and shoulders. Hypoglossal nerves are also a combination of the speech and mastication function.

What Are Spinal Nerves And How Do They Function?

Nerves which are too far from the brain will link to the spinal cord. These are called spinal nerves and these are far more plenty as opposed to those of the cranial nerves. These nerves will cover every part of the body generally from the neck to the toes. It will allow a person to feel physical pain, temperature changes and other stimuli to allow distinguish which is which. The spinal nerves may also be called as peripheral nerves and are extremely essential for the usual big movements that people perform such as walking, communicating and simply enjoying life and daily activities.

The main difference between cranial and spinal nerves is that the former is attached directly to the brain while the latter is anchored to the spinal cord which is then attached to the brain. There are a lot of peripheral or spinal nerves, specifically 31 pairs divided into 8 for the cervical, 12 for the thoracic, 5 for the sacral, 5 for the lumbar and 1 for the coccygeal, while there are only 12 pairs of cranial nerves.