As a muscle, the auricularis anterior is located between the ear and the eye. The muscle is also located in an area with few other points of insertion or origination. This is a marked contrast from most other regions near the face. The aruicularis anterior arises from the temporal fascia, and it inserts into the major helix, which is the upper rim of the ear. This point is closer to where the ear connects to the head, and this muscle works to pull the ear forward. It 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 innervations. 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
In Depth: Auricularis anterior