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Auricularis anterior

The auricularis anterior muscle is located between the ear and the eye. It is in an area with few other points of insertion or origination, which is unusual for regions on the face.

The auricularis anterior arises from the temporal fascia (a fibrous tissue that covers the temporalis muscles on the sides of the head) and it inserts into the major helix, which is the upper rim portion of the ear. This point is closer to where the ear connects to the head, and this muscle works to pull the ear forward.

The auricularis anterior relies on the posterior auricular artery for oxygenated blood, and it is the posterior auricular vein that helps drain deoxygenated blood away. The temporal branch of the facial nerve provides the muscle with nerves.

This muscle is part of the auricularis grouping, which also includes the auricularis superior and posterior muscles. All three of these muscles assist in moving the ear towards sound, but many people cannot noticeably flex or move their ears. Of the three, the auricularis anterior is the smallest.

Written and medically reviewed by the Healthline Editorial Team
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In Depth: Auricularis anterior

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