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facial nerve n.
Either of a pair of nerves that originate in the pons, traverse the facial canal of the temporal bone, and pass through the parotid gland, reach the facial muscles through various branches, control facial muscles, and relay sensation from the taste buds of the front part of the tongue. Also called seventh cranial nerve.
nerve that originates in the area of the brain called the pons and that has three types of nerve fibres: (1) motor fibres to the superficial muscles of the face, neck, and scalp and to certain deep muscles, known collectively as the muscles of facial expression; (2) sensory fibres, carrying impulses from the taste sensors in the front two-thirds of the tongue and general sensory impulses from tissues adjacent to the tongue; and (3) parasympathetic fibres (part of the autonomic nervous system) to the ganglia (groups of nerve cells) governing the lachrymal (tear) glands and certain salivary glands.