Vestibular Apparatus

The vestibular apparatus, shown in Figure 55-9, is the sensory organ for detecting sensations of equilibrium. It is encased in a system of bony tubes and chambers

Crista Vestibular

Membranous labyrinth, and organization of the crista ampullaris and the macula.

Figure 55-10

Hair cell of the equilibrium apparatus and its synapses with the vestibular nerve.

Membranous labyrinth, and organization of the crista ampullaris and the macula.

located in the petrous portion of the temporal bone, called the bony labyrinth. Within this system are membranous tubes and chambers called the membranous labyrinth. The membranous labyrinth is the functional part of the vestibular apparatus.

The top of Figure 55-9 shows the membranous labyrinth. It is composed mainly of the cochlea (ductus cochlearis); three semicircular canals; and two large chambers, the utricle and saccule. The cochlea is the major sensory organ for hearing (see Chapter 52) and has little to do with equilibrium. However, the semicircular canals, the utricle, and the saccule are all integral parts of the equilibrium mechanism.

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Essentials of Human Physiology

Essentials of Human Physiology

This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.

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