How does the vestibular system provide information to the brain?
The inner ear (hearing and balance) consists of a complex system of intercommunicating chambers and tubes called a labyrinth.
Information travels by way of the vestibulocochlear nerve (or auditory vestibular nerve), mostly known as the eighth cranial nerve.
Actually, two labyrinths compose the inner ear: the osseous labyrinth, bony canal in temporal bone and a membranous labyrinth, a membrane within osseous labyrinth.
The structures of the inner ear are:
o Cochlea = snail shaped portion;
Function = sense of hearing.
o Semi-circular canals = three rings;
Function = dynamic equilibrium.
o Vestibule = area between cochlea and semi-circular canals;
Function = static equilibrium.