Loyola University Medical 
Education Network Objectives to the Study of the Head and Neck

These objectives are meant to assist you in learning the anatomy of the head and neck. It is assumed you are familiar with the anatomical components (i.e., skull, muscles, nerves, arteries, etc.).

  1. Define and visualize the boundaries of each of the triangles of the neck.
  2. Recognize that the soft structures are related to bony and cartilaginous structures (e.g., the common carotid divides into external and internal branches at about the level of the hyoid bone which is at vertebral level C3).
  3. Demonstrate the branches of the external carotid and their distributions.
  4. Recall that the cervical plexus has a sensory and a motor component.
  5. Recognize that the neck is compartmentalized as a series of tubes within tubes by deep fascia. Recall these fascia are and what is transmitted within each compartment. Explain the clinical importance of the retropharyngeal space.
  6. List the parts of the digestive and respiratory tracts in this region, including the salivary glands.
  7. Compare and contrast muscles of mastication with muscles of facial expression.
  8. Recall the contents of the deep face (infratemporal fossa) and the relationships of structures found here.
  9. Summarize the development of the neurocranium, viscerocranium and the clinical problems that arise from dysgenesis of cranial structures.
  10. Describe the components and distribution of each cranial nerve.
  11. Recall the divisions of the autonomic system into parasympathetic and sympathetic systems, and the distributions of each component.
  12. List each of the foramina in the skull and what traverses each.
  13. Demonstrate the dural projections in the cranial cavity and explain the formation of dural sinuses.
  14. List the contents of the orbit, particularly the intrinsic muscles, their innervation and actions.
  15. Identify anatomic structures in radiographic studies including X-ray, CT scans and MRI films.

Please contact: John A. McNulty
Last Updated: July 13, 2005
Created: August 1, 1995