Twelve nerves connect the brain to various parts of the head, neck, and torso. These cranial nerves have a corresponding roman numeral to help identify them, depending on their location from front to back. Most of the cranial nerves provide either the sensory information or motor control of various muscles, but a few perform both.


1. Cranial Nerve I — Olfactory Nerve

The olfactory nerve is responsible for transmitting scent information to the areas of the brain responsible for smell and memory. Of the twelve cranial nerves, the olfactory nerve is the smallest. It also does not emanate from the brainstem. Damage to the olfactory nerve can result in loss of smell, changes in taste, and distortion in the sense of smell.

woman smelling olfactory GrapeImages / Getty Images


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