Skip to main content
Biology LibreTexts

How to Learn the 12 Cranial Nerves

  • Page ID
    21031
  • Many anatomy classes will require students to learn, in order, the twelve cranial nerves. A quick internet search will reveal several mnemonic devices to learn them, though I tend to fall back on the one I used back in college, which sticks because it also rhymes:

    “On Old Olympus Towering Top A Finn and German Viewed A Hop”

    1. Olfactory
    2. Optic
    3. Oculomotor
    4. Trochlear
    5. Trigeminal
    6. Abducens
    7. Facial
    8. Auditory (Vestibulocochlear)
    9. Glossopharyngeal
    10. Vagus
    11. Accessory (Spinal)
    12. Hypoglossal

    Cranial Nerves Coloring

    The sheep brain below has many parts labeled and shows the cranial nerves. Number the cranial nerves appropriately. Color each part according to the keys.

    cranial nerves.png

    Olfactory bulb and tract (purple)
    Optic Nerve and Chiasma (dark green)
    Oculomotor (dark blue)
    Trochlear (gray)
    Trigeminal (pink)
    Abducens (orange)
    Facial (yellow)
    Vestibulocochlear / Auditory (red)
    Glossopharyngeal (black)
    Vagus (brown)
    Accessory / Spinal Accessory (dark blue)
    Hypoglossal (orange)Cerebellum (light green)

    Cerebrum (light blue)
    Pons (red)
    Medulla Oblongata (purple)

    Human Brain Coloring

    Number the cranial nerves appropriately. Color each part according to the key. This picture is not labeled, you may use other resources to help you locate the structures.

    human brain.png

    Olfactory bulb and tract (purple)
    Optic Nerve and Chiasma (dark green)
    Oculomotor (dark blue)
    Trochlear (gray)
    Trigeminal (pink)
    Abducens (orange)
    Facial (yellow)
    Vestibulocochlear / Auditory (red)
    Glossopharyngeal (black)
    Vagus (brown)
    Accessory / Spinal Accessory (dark blue)
    Hypoglossal (orange)

    Cerebellum (light green)
    Cerebrum (light blue)
    Pons (red)
    Medulla Oblongata (purple)