Dictionary > Glossopharyngeal nerve

Glossopharyngeal nerve

noun, plural: glossopharyngeal nerves
The cranial nerve that innervates muscles involved in swallowing and taste
Cranial nerves are paired nerves that emerge from the brain and the brainstem. They supply the motor pathways between organs in the face and the upper body, and account for detecting and processing various sensations. One of the cranial nerves is the glossopharyngeal nerve, which is also referred to as the ninth cranial nerve or cranial nerve IX (CN IX).
In humans and other vertebrates, the glossopharyngeal nerve is the cranial nerve that emerges from the brainstem and is responsible for innervating muscles involved in swallowing and taste. In particular, it innervates the muscles of the pharynx, the soft palate, and the parotid glands. It also innervates the sensory fibers transmitting impulses from the pharynx, the middle ear, and the posterior third of the tongue to the brain. It also receives visceral sensory fibers from the carotid bodies. It supplies parasympathetic fibers to the parotid gland through the otic ganglion and motor fibers to the stylopharyngeus muscle.
Lesions of the ninth nerve result in difficulty in swallowing and disturbance of taste (or loss of taste sensation) particularly on the posterior one third of the tongue.

  • cranial nerve IX (CN IX)
  • ninth cranial nerve

See also:

  • cranial nerve

    You will also like...

    Psychiatry and mental disorders
    Psychiatry & Mental Disorders

    Different mental disorders are described here. Read this tutorial to get an overview of schizophrenia, affective mood di..

    Schematic diagram of bacterial lactose operon
    Gene Action – Operon Hypothesis

    Learn how the way genes control and determine every aspect of the body. This lesson uses lac operon as an example. ..


    Primitive Animals

    Life, as we know it today, is presumed to have started in the sea and many of them were likely eukaryotic animal-like or..

    Digestion and Absorption of Food
    Digestion and Absorption of Food

    The gastrointestinal system breaks down particles of ingested food into molecular forms by enzymes through digestion and..

    Population Growth and Survivorship
    Population Growth and Survivorship

    This lesson looks at population attributes, regulation, and growth. It also covers population genetics, particularly gen..

    Growth Patterns
    Growth Patterns

    This tutorial describes the sigmoid curve, annual plant growth, tree growth, human growth, and insect growth as the grow..