vagus nerve (anatomy)

Last reviewed 01/2018

The vagus nerve has both sensory and motor divisions. It can also be divided up according to the slighly different routes it takes on the right and left sides.

It emerges from the anterolateral surface of the medulla as a series of rootlets in a cleft between the olive and the cerebellar peduncle. It passes through the jugular foramen and descends within the carotid sheath in association with the common carotid artery and internal jugular vein. The vagus' target organs are widely-distributed throughout the thorax and abdomen.