The temporalis (Latin: musculus temporalis) is a wide, fan-shaped muscle located on each side of the skull. This muscle covers most of the temporal bone and fills the temporal fossa. The temporalis is one of the primary muscles of mastication involved in the elevation and retraction of the lower jaw. This muscle is covered by the temporal fascia.

Temporalis, Muscles of mastication, Masticatory muscles, Head muscles
Temporalis muscle by Anatomy Next
OriginTemporal plane, temporal fascia
InsertionCoronoid process of mandible
ActionElevates mandible, retracts mandible (posterior fibers)
Innervation Deep temporal nerve of mandibular nerve (CN V3)
Blood supply Deep temporal branches of maxillary artery, middle temporal branches of superficial temporal artery



The temporalis muscle originates from the temporal plane below the superior temporal line of the parietal bone and the deep surface of the temporal fascia.



The temporalis forms a tendon that inserts onto the coronoid process of the mandible.

Origin and insertion of temporalis muscle, Temporalis, Head muscles
Origin and insertion of temporalis muscle by Anatomy Next



Upon activation, the temporalis muscle elevates the mandible. It also can retract the mandible by pulling it backward with its posterior fibers.

Action of temporalis, Function of temporalis, Temporalis, Relaxed temporalis, Contracted temporalis
Action of temporalis muscle by Anatomy Next



The temporalis is innervated by the deep temporal nerve, a branch of the mandibular division of the trigeminal nerve (CN V3).


Blood supply

The temporalis is provided with the arterial blood by the deep temporal branches of the maxillary artery and middle temporal branches of the superficial temporal artery.