Encyclopedia of Evolutionary Psychological Science

Living Edition
| Editors: Todd K. Shackelford, Viviana A. Weekes-Shackelford


  • Michael KhalilEmail author
Living reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-16999-6_988-1



Small calcium carbonate particles that compose the otolithic membrane.


The otoliths are small calcium carbonate particles that make up the otolithic membrane, which accommodates the utricle and the saccule inside the vestibule (Chang and Khana 2013; Seikel et al. 2010). Their function contribute to balance and motion (Clarke et al. 2003).

The Saccule

The otolithic membrane covers the utricular macula which is a sensory organ endowed of hair cells and cilia (Seikel et al. 2010). The saccule has a globular-shaped sac which is located near the scala vestibuli in the vestibule (Lee et al. 2016). It is connected anteriorly to the cochlear duct by the ductus reuniens and posteriorly to the endolymphatic duct through the utriculosaccular duct (Lee et al. 2016). The saccule is connected with the cochlea through the miniscule ductus reuniens (Seikel et al. 2010).

The Utricle

The utricle is larger than the saccule, and is...

This is a preview of subscription content, log in to check access.


  1. Chang, R., & Khana, S. (2013). Anatomy of the vestibular system: A review. NeuroRehabilitation, 32, 437–443.  https://doi.org/10.3233/NRE-130866.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  2. Clarke, A. H., Schönfeld, U., & Helling, K. (2003). Unilateral examination of utricle and saccule function. Journal of Vestibular Research, 13(4–6), 215–225. Retrieved from https://www.researchgate.net/profile/Kai_Helling/publication/228727499_Unilateral_examination_of_utricle_and_saccule_function/links/54fb01ea0cf2859b88579a17/Unilateral-examination-of-utricle-and-saccule-function.pdf.PubMedGoogle Scholar
  3. Hain, T. C., & Helminsky, J. O. (2007). Anatomy and physiology of the normal vestibular system. In Vestibular rehabilitation (3rd ed., p. 214). Philadelphia: FA Davis Company.Google Scholar
  4. Lee, S. C., Razek, O. A., & Dorfman, B. E. (2016). Vestibular system anatomy. In A. Meyers, F. Talavera, & P. Roland (Eds.), Medscape. Retrieved from https://emedicine.medscape.com/article/883956-overview.
  5. Oghalai, J. S., & Brownell, W. E. (2012). Chapter 44. Anatomy & physiology of the ear. In A. Lalwani (Ed.), Current diagnosis & treatment in otolaryngology – Head & neck surgery (3rd ed.). New York: McGraw-Hill Global Education Holdings, LLC.Google Scholar
  6. Seikel, A. J., King, D. W., & Drumright, D. G. (2010). Chapter 9: Anatomy of hearing. In Anatomy & physiology for speech, language, and hearing (4th ed., pp. 447–478). New York: Delmar Cengage Learning.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.University of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus

Section editors and affiliations

  • Menelaos Apostolou
    • 1
  1. 1.University of NicosiaNicosiaCyprus