Any of the 12 pairs of nerves that emerge directly from the brain’s ventral surface. One of each pair of nerves on each side passes through skull openings to the body's periphery. These pairs of nerves include olfactory, optic (which arise from the cerebrum), oculomotor, trochlear, trigeminal (V) and others that arise from the brain stem. The nerve brings the brain information, controls muscles, and is connected to glands or other internal organs.