The facial nerve (the labyrinthine segment) is the seventh cranial nerve, or simply CN VII. It emerges from the pons of the brainstem, controls the muscles of facial expression, and functions in the conveyance of taste sensations from the anterior two-thirds of the tongue. The nerves typically travels from the pons through the facial canal in the temporal bone and exits the skull at the stylomastoid foramen. It arises from the brainstem from an area posterior to the cranial nerve VI (abducens nerve) and anterior to cranial nerve VIII (vestibulocochlear nerve).
The facial nerve also supplies preganglionic parasympathetic fibers to several head and neck ganglia.
The facial and intermediate nerves can be collectively referred to as the nervus intermediofacialis.