Show Summary Details
Page of

The Sense of Equilibrium 

The Sense of Equilibrium
The Sense of Equilibrium

Per Brodal

Page of

PRINTED FROM OXFORD MEDICINE ONLINE ( © Oxford University Press, 2021. All Rights Reserved. Under the terms of the licence agreement, an individual user may print out a PDF of a single chapter of a title in Oxford Medicine Online for personal use (for details see Privacy Policy and Legal Notice).

date: 25 February 2021

Chapter 18 deals with the vestibular system and the sense of equilibrium. The sense of equilibrium, narrowly defined, depends on signals from sense organs that record the position and movements of the head. Such receptors are hair cells in the vestibular apparatus. They record angular acceleration and gravitational forces and thereby signal movements and position of the head in space. Afferents from the vestibular apparatus end in the vestibular nuclei. From there, signals flow to the spinal cord, neuronal groups controlling eye movements, and the cerebellum. These connections mainly control postural reflexes and vestibulo-ocular reflexes. In addition, vestibular signals reach several small areas in the cerebral cortex. Thereby, signals from vestibular receptors contribute to conscious awareness of the position of the body in space. The vestibular apparatus is not the only source of sensory information for maintaining equilibrium, however. Visual information and signals from somatosensory receptors also contribute.

Access to the complete content on Oxford Medicine Online requires a subscription or purchase. Public users are able to search the site and view the abstracts for each book and chapter without a subscription.

Please subscribe or login to access full text content.

If you have purchased a print title that contains an access token, please see the token for information about how to register your code.

For questions on access or troubleshooting, please check our FAQs, and if you can't find the answer there, please contact us.