The Optic Nerve (Cranial Nerve II)

CN II, is a paired nerve Opens in new window that transmits visual Opens in new window information from the retina Opens in new window to the brain Opens in new window. In humans, the optic nerve is derived from optic stalks Opens in new window during the seventh week of development and is composed of retinal ganglion cell Opens in new window axons and glial cells Opens in new window; it extends from the optic disc Opens in new window to the optic chiasma Opens in new window and continues as the optic tract Opens in new window to the lateral geniculate nucleus Opens in new window, pretectal nuclei Opens in new window, and superior colliculus Opens in new window.[1][2]


  1. Vilensky, Joel; Robertson, Wendy; Suarez-Quian, Carlos (2015). The Clinical Anatomy of the Cranial Nerves: The Nerves of "On Olympus Towering Top". Ames, Iowa: Wiley-Blackwell. ISBN 978-1118492017.
  2. Selhorst, JB; Chen, Y (2009). "The Optic Nerve". Seminars in Neurology. 29: 29–35.