Cranial Nerves - A Head Case

Created by:
Jeffrey Caplan 
Capistrano Unified 

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UCI Summer Science Institute WebQuests - 2001

Image taken from Yale University School of Medicine.  Copyright 1998, Yale Center for Advanced Instructional Media.

UCI Science WebQuests from all years


     The human nervous system is divided into the central nervous system (CNS), consisting of the brain and spinal cord, and the peripheral nervous system (PNS), everything outside the central nervous system.
     The peripheral nervous system is divided into 2 divisions: sensory division (afferent) and motor division (efferent). 
The sensory division transmits impulses from the sense organs (receptors) to the CNS.  The motor division transmits 
impulses from the CNS to muscles and glands (effectors).  The motor division has 2 subdivisions, the somatic nervous 
system, under conscious control or voluntary, and autonomic nervous system, controlling involuntary functions 
throughout the body.  The peripheral nervous system is composed of the spinal and cranial nerves.  The spinal nerves
carry impulses to and from the spinal cord.  The cranial nerves carry impulses to and from the brain.  These spinal and 
cranial nerves are a communication link all parts of the body.


1. Students will be able to explain the function and actions of the different cranial nerves 
    of the peripheral nervous system.
2. Students will complete the activities in order to the determine which cranial nerve corresponds 
    to the action of each nerve.
3. Students will participate in a lab demonstrating the function of each cranial nerve.
4. Students will create a graph from the Stroop Effect calculating the female vs. male averages.

Resources Needed:

Computer with Internet access and iInternet savvy Instructor

Your Task:

Read the information on the cranial nerves and complete the quizzes for practice.
Complete the following lab activities on the cranial nerves.
Complete the Stroop Effect activty at the Ontario Science Centre's WebSite. Click on the SciZone at top of the page, and select the stroop effect from the Your Mind Section.

Have fun and experiment
Test yourself several times. Let others try the test.
Do you see any improvement with practice?

Keep a record or graph your results if you like.
Do the first test three times and record the data in the table. 
Calculate your average.
Complete the second test three times and record your data in the table.
Create a graph comparing each student's average.
You may want to compare results for both males and females.

Feel feel to explore any of the wonderful activities on the Ontario Science Centre's site.

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August 10, 2001
Revised August 4, 2002
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