Encyclopedia of Clinical Neuropsychology

2018 Edition
| Editors: Jeffrey S. Kreutzer, John DeLuca, Bruce Caplan

Vestibular Nuclei

  • Randall E. MerchantEmail author
Reference work entry
DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-57111-9_376


The vestibular nuclei function in the maintenance of equilibrium and posture, the perception of head position and acceleration, as well as general muscle tone.

Current Knowledge

The vestibular nuclei function in conjunction with the cerebellum to maintain equilibrium and posture, convey perception of head position and acceleration, and modify muscle tone. Bipolar neurons of the vestibular ganglion (also called Scarpa’s ganglion) receive input through peripheral branches coursing from specialized receptor cells in the semicircular canals and the utricle and saccule. Axons from the vestibular ganglion come together with axons projecting from the auditory neurons to form the vestibulocochlear nerve (cranial nerve VIII). The vestibular neurons project to the four vestibular nuclei, i.e., superior, inferior, medial, and lateral, which lie under the floor of the fourth ventricle in the pons and rostral medulla.

The lateral vestibular nucleus receives input from the semicircular...

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© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Anatomy and NeurobiologyVirginia Commonwealth University Medical CenterRichmondUSA