Sunday, January 25, 2009

Cranial Nerves

This weeks dissection finally came to a head, literally. We sawed into the skull to remove the most important and complex organ in the body.

The Brain

It was likely the most fascinating dissection yet and breaking the brain into its parts and functions has been no simple task. With a test slated early this week, we are feverishly cramming as much information, as humanly possible, into our own heads.

Specifically, the cranial nerves pose a threat to a decent grade. In an effort to help the student who has to learn them too, I have included resources that I found to be beneficial. These include memory aides, mnemonics, charts, and more. If you have suggestions of your own, please post them in the comments to share.

Cranial Nerves

  • David Darling online encyclopedia - includes great links to individual nerves
  • Chart including nerve components, functions, and pathways
  • Extensive list of mnemonics
  • Easy memorization technique for the nerve components (shown below) by a former student
"Great Virginia, Sweet Virginia, G Veg Save! SSA does two and eight."

The "G Veg Save" part confused me at first – obviously it helps you remember to list GVE, but then you continue onto the next line so you can finish spelling "Veg", giving you a lonely G. So you finish that line with a "SA", then put "SVE" on the line after that, so that you (sort of) spell "SAVE." Giving you:

GVA –
SVA –
GVE –
GSA –
SVE –
SSA – II & VIII

Now, which cranial nerves have a whole bunch of components in them? VII, IX, and X, right? So fill in the list like this, leaving spaces as indicated – the GVA list is complete and doesn’t need a space:

GVA – VII, IX, X
SVA – ___, VII, IX, X
GVE – ___, VII, IX, X
GSA – ___, VII, IX, X
SVE – ___, VII, IX, X
SSA – II & VIII

Now, start counting in odd numbers to fill in the spaces (you’ll use V twice, otherwise you’d be listing VII twice for SVE. So your list looks like this now:

GVA – VII, IX, X
SVA – _I_, VII, IX, X
GVE – _III_, VII, IX, X
GSA – _V_, VII, IX, X
SVE – _V_, VII, IX, X
SSA – II & VIII

Add XI to the SVE list, because it belongs there.

GVA – VII, IX, X
SVA – _I_, VII, IX, X
GVE – _III_, VII, IX, X
GSA – _V_, VII, IX, X
SVE – _V_, VII, IX, X, XI
SSA – II & VIII

So what’s missing? Of course, GSE! And for GSE, list the cranial nerves that don’t show up anywhere else in the lists, plus III.

GVA – VII, IX, X
SVA – _I_, VII, IX, X
GVE – _III_, VII, IX, X
GSA – _V_, VII, IX, X
SVE – _V_, VII, IX, X, XI
SSA – II & VIII
GSE – III, IV, VI, XII

Best of luck to all those who have to endure this complicated study. For more enlightening materials discussing the brain, consider these books.

5 comments:

  1. Josh I just found ya! I remember teaching this story to just about everyone in the class. Awesome that it's on your blog. Good luck with tests!
    Your buddy,
    Sherryl

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  2. I am so glad you shared it with us as it certainly made things easier. It's been nice collecting things here for easier finding down the road. Glad you found me and thanks for the luck. Best to you as you prepare for your exams.

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  3. Thanks a lot Josh! I'm learning this stuff right now and this helped a lot. I made a chart of the cranial nerves with corresponding pictures, if it helps anyone else reading this -- http://joswandesign.com/medical/?p=3

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  4. Great chart Joe, thanks for sharing and good luck!

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  5. very hard work sir salute u

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