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Chapter: Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology: Senses

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Neuronal Pathways for Balance - Ear

Axons forming the vestibular portion of the vestibulocochlear nerve (VIII) project to the vestibular nucleus in the brainstem.

Neuronal Pathways for Balance

Axons forming the vestibular portion of the vestibulocochlear nerve (VIII) project to the vestibular nucleus in the brainstem. Axons run from this nucleus to numerous areas of the CNS, such as the cerebellum and cerebral cortex. 


Balance is a complex sensation involving sensory input to the vestibular nucleus not only from the inner ear but also from the limbs (proprioception) and visual system as well. In sobriety tests, people are asked to close their eyes while their balance is evaluated because alcohol affects the proprioceptive and vestibular components of balance to a greater extent than the visual component of balance.


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