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NROC64H3 (81)
Chapter 11

chapter 11- vestibular system

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Matthias Niemeier

THE VESTIBULAR SYSTEM The vestibular system monitors the position and movement of the head gives us a sense of balance and equilibrium and helps coordinate movements of the head and eyesThe Vestibular Labyrinth The vestibular and auditory systems both use hair cells to transduce movements In mammals all hair cells are contained within sets of interconnected chambers called the vestibular labyrinth See Fig 1128 which include two types of structures with different structuresy Otolith organsdetects force of gravity and tilts of the head o Contain the saccule and the utricle o Located near the center of the labyrinth y Semicircular canalssensitive to head rotation o Three arcing structures o Lie in approximately orthogonal planes Ultimately these structures transmit mechanical energy derived from head movement to its hair cellsOtolith Organs The saccule and utricle detect changes of head angle as well as linear acceleration of the head Each otolith organ contains a sensory epithelium called a maculay Vertically oriented within the saccule and horizontally oriented within the utricle The vestibular macula contains hair cells see Fig1129 Movements are transduced when the hair bundles are deflected y The otolith organs contain tiny crystals of calcium carbonate called otoliths which encrust the surface of the maculas gela
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