Cranial Nerves in Health and Disease, Second Edition by Linda Wilson-Pauwels; Elizabeth J. Akesson; Patricia A.

By Linda Wilson-Pauwels; Elizabeth J. Akesson; Patricia A. Stewart; Sian D. Spacey

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Note that the optic nerve, like the olfactory nerve, is composed of secondary sensory axons rather than primary sensory axons and so forms a central nervous system tract rather than a nerve. ” 30 Cranial Nerves eye to form the optic chiasma (literally the “optic cross”). A small number of axons from each eye leave the chiasma and course superiorly to the suprachiasmatic nucleus of the hypothalamus where they act to influence the circadian rhythm. At the chiasma, approximately one-half of the axons cross the midline to join the uncrossed axons from the other eye, forming the optic tracts.

Wilson-Pauwels Nerve to medial rectus in inferior division of CN III Medial rectus muscles C Figure III–8 A, Eye adjusted for distance vision: large pupil and relaxed ciliary muscle. B, In accommodation for near vision, the pupillary constrictor muscles contract resulting in a smaller pupil, and the ciliary muscles contract and the suspensory ligaments relax resulting in a thicker lens. C, The medial recti muscles contract causing the eyes to converge. Oculomotor Nerve keeping it flat (see Figure III–8A).

Approximately half the ganglion cell axons in the optic nerve represent the fovea and the region just around it. Furthermore, half the primary visual cortex surrounding the calcarine fissure represents the fovea and the area just around it (Figure II–6). Optic tract Optic chiasma Optic nerve A B Photoreceptors (mostly cones) Photoreceptors (mostly rods) Optic nerve head (optic disk) Periphery of retina Ganglion cell Fovea (central area of retina) © L. Wilson-Pauwels Figure II–5 Convergence of photoreceptors on ganglion cells: several thousand to one at the periphery of the retina and one to one at the fovea.

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