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the tenth cranial nerve; it has the most extensive distribution of the cranial nerves, serving structures of the chest and abdomen as well as the head and neck. Its afferent fibers serve the mucous membrane of the larynx, trachea, bronchi, lungs, arch of the aorta, esophagus, and stomach. Some of the functions affected by this nerve are coughing, sneezing, reflex inhibitions of the heart rate, and the sensation of hunger. Its motor fibers are concerned with swallowing, speech, peristalsis, and secretions from the glands of the stomach and the pancreas and contractions of the trachea, bronchi, and bronchioles. See Appendix 3-5.
Either of the tenth and longest of the cranial nerves, passing through the neck and thorax into the abdomen and supplying sensation to part of the ear, the tongue, the larynx, and the pharynx, motor impulses to the vocal cords, and motor and secretory impulses to the abdominal and thoracic viscera. Also called pneumogastric nerve.
vagus nervethe 10th cranial nerve of vertebrates that arises on the side and floor of the brain MEDULLA and supplies the pharynx, vocal cords, lungs, heart, oesophagus, stomach and intestine. In the vocal cords and lungs it has a sensory function, but elsewhere in the parasympathetic nervous system (see AUTONOMIC NERVOUS SYSTEM it has a motor function including inhibition of the heartbeat.
A cranial nerve, that is, a nerve connected to the brain. The vagus nerve has branches to most of the major organs in the body, including the larynx, throat, windpipe, lungs, heart, and most of the digestive system.