Twelve pairs of nerves (for the right and left sides of the body) that pass directly from the brain to carry signals directly to and from the body, as opposed to signals which pass to and from the brain via the The main nerve trunk running down the spinal canal and connecting the individual’s mind and consciousness to the rest of his or her body. It is about the size of a person’s little finger, in diameter. It cannot repair itself if damaged.. A neurological examination record will often include a phrase starting with “cranial nerve examination revealed . . . .”.