Definition of Nerve, first cranial

Nerve, first cranial: The first cranial nerve is the olfactory nerve, the nerve that carries impulses for the sense of smell from the nose to the brain.

The cranial nerves emerge from or enter the skull (the cranium), as opposed to the spinal nerves which emerge from the vertebral column. There are twelve cranial nerves.

The word "olfactory" comes from the Latin "olfactare", to sniff at and "olfacere", to smell.


Last Editorial Review: 6/14/2012

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