The Eight Bones That Form the Cranium

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  • 0:02 The Cranium
  • 0:42 The Eight Cranial Bones
  • 2:20 Cranial Bone Fusion
  • 2:45 Other Cranial Bone Terms
  • 3:08 Lesson Summary
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Lesson Transcript
Instructor: Dominic Corsini
This lesson teaches us about the eight bones of the human cranium. It includes discussion on cranial function, specific cranial bones, and bone fusing. Illustrations and a brief quiz are also included.

The Cranium

The human mind is both a fascinating as well as intricate piece of engineering. The interrelationships formed by neurons to create working memory, the plasticity demonstrated when adapting to injury, and the process of sorting through the wealth of visual and auditory stimuli contained in our world are all amazing feats unto themselves. The brain, which performs these various functions, is protected by a part of the skull called the cranium. We'll turn our attention to the eight bones that form it: the ethmoid bone, the sphenoid bone, the frontal bone, the occipital bone, two parietal bones, and two temporal bones.

The Eight Cranial Bones

8 Cranial Bones

The human cranium contains eight bones, some of which exist in pairs. Many of these bones are named in conjunction with the section of brain they cover. For example, the occipital bone covers the occipital lobe (where vision is processed). The frontal bone covers the frontal lobe, the parietal bone covers the parietal lobes, and so on. So, should you wish to remember cranial anatomy, then relate it to brain anatomy. The are parallels here.

Each cranial bone performs a specific function. To begin, let's start with the occipital bone. This bone protects the back of your brain and supports your head. Actually, it contains an opening that your spinal cord travels through. To the sides of the occipital bone are the temporal bones. These two bones protect the sides of your brain and support your face. In fact, the muscles that move your jaw rely on these bones.

Above your two temporal bones reside the parietal bones. These bones form the majority of your skull. Again, their primary function is to protect the brain. If you pat yourself on the head, chances are your tapping the parietal bones, or possibly the frontal bone. This bone is located in front of the parietal bones and forms the forehead. Again, this bone provides a protective covering for the brain (specifically the frontal lobes) as well as support for your face.

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