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Superior Ganglion of Glossopharyngeal Nerve
Nervous System

Superior Ganglion of Glossopharyngeal Nerve

Ganglion superius nervi glossopharyngei

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Quick Facts

Location: Jugular foramen near the superior opening.

Branches: The entire glossopharyngeal nerve runs through the superior ganglion.

Supply: Location of general somatic afferent neuronal cell bodies.

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The superior ganglion of the glossopharyngeal nerve sits in the upper portion of the jugular foramen, just before the superior opening into the skull.

The superior ganglion of glossopharyngeal nerve is derived from neural crest cells. These cells become general somatic afferent neurons (Barlow, 2002).


The glossopharyngeal nerve runs into and out of the superior ganglion. There are no branches coming directly off the superior ganglion.

Supplied Structures

All fibers of the glossopharyngeal nerve either originate in or pass through the superior ganglion.

The cell bodies of general somatic afferent fibers are located in the superior ganglion of the glossopharyngeal nerve. They convey sensation from the posterior one third of the tongue. A small portion of the skin of the external ear is also innervated by general sensory afferent fibers of the glossopharyngeal nerve. These fibers travel back with the auricular branch of the vagus nerve until shortly before entering the skull, at which point they move to the glossopharyngeal nerve through a variable communication.


Barlow, L. A. (2002) Cranial Nerve Development: Placodal Neurons Ride the Crest. Current Biology, 12(5), R171-R173.

Learn more about this topic from other Elsevier products

Glossopharyngeal Nerve

ScienceDirect image

The glossopharyngeal nerves (CN IX) convey taste information from the posterior third.

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