The ganglion lies immediately below the foramen ovale, in front of the middle meningeal artery, and in close contact with the nerve to the internal pterygoid.


The motor fibres are derived from the nerve to the internal pterygoid, the sensory ones from the smaller superficial petrosal nerve (see facial nerve), and the sympathetic element from the plexus around the middle meningeal artery.


Two muscles are supplied by the ganglion (a) the tensor tympani, and (b) the tensor palati. Communicating branches are given off to the Vidian, auriculo-temporal, and chorda tympani.