a wandering nerve


Vagus – Latin for wandering. The Vagus Nerve is known as the wandering nerve.  To understand why and where it wanders, I decide to draw out its path and the organs affected. The vagus nerve is the 10th cranial nerve – CN X (there are 12 cranial nerves).


It extends from the brainstem (Meudlla Oblongata)

The vagus nerve is the longest and most complex of the cranial nerves and has both motor and sensory fibers. It extends from the brain stem ( the medulla oblongata)  through the face and thorax to the abdomen.  It forms part of the involuntary nervous system and helps to regulate heart beat, control muscle movement, keep a person breathing, and to send a variety of chemicals through the body. It is also responsible for keeping the digestive tract in working order, contracting the muscles of the stomach and intestines to help process food, and sending back information about what is being digested and what the body is getting out of it.


CN X moves from the brain stem and the neck, through the thorax, lungs, heart …



…. and through various parts of the viscera


and continues to the digestive tract

In this study I learn through the work of Kevin Tracey MD, there is a direct connect between the brain and the  immune system via CN 10 – in regulating the body’s  inflammatory response to infection and auto-immune diseases.

The body is more complex than I can ever really understand, but the glimpses and connections I make are exciting to me.

The images posted here make up only a small area in the upper right hand corner of a new figure composition.


A few years ago before I began my current full body anatomy studies, I drew out all the  individual organs.  I collage many of them into small compositions. This one above is my best guess at the autonomic system.

Today as I better understand the Vagus Nerve, I realize this is some of the area I was trying to formulate through this early study.

4 thoughts on “a wandering nerve

  1. Pingback: science in artistic form – a symposium | Monica Aissa Martinez

  2. Pingback: the wandering nerve, the vagus nerve, the pneumogastric nerve | Monica Aissa Martinez

  3. Pingback: no woman is an island | Monica Aissa Martinez

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