The Posterior Auricular Nerve (n. auricularis posterior) arises close to the stylo-mastoid foramen, and runs upward in front of the mastoid process; here it is joined by a filament from the auricular branch of the vagus, and communicates with the posterior branch of the great auricular, and with the lesser occipital.
As it ascends between the external acoustic meatus and mastoid process it divides into auricular and occipital branches :
This definition incorporates text from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy (20th U.S. edition of Gray's Anatomy of the Human Body, published in 1918 – from http://www.bartleby.com/107/).
- The auricular branch supplies the Auricularis posterior and the intrinsic muscles on the cranial surface of the auricula.
- The occipital branch, the larger, passes backward along the superior nuchal line of the occipital bone, and supplies the Occipitalis.
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