Equilibrioception


Read here about the reception of equilibrium information.

Human Equilibrioception

Balance, equilibrioception, or vestibular sense is the sense which allows an organism to sense body movement, direction, and acceleration, and to attain and maintain postural equilibrium and balance. The organ of equilibrioception is the vestibular labyrinthine system found in both of the inner ears. Technically this organ is responsible for two senses of angular momentum acceleration and linear acceleration (which also senses gravity), but they are known together as equilibrioception. Loss or impairment of a sense of balance is sensed as dizziness, disorientation and nausea. Most astronauts find that their sense of balance is impaired when in orbit because they are in a constant state of weightlessness. This causes a form of motion sickness called space adaptation syndrome.

Head Tilt

Human sense of head tilt, back towards the nape of the neck, or forward chin to chest: Otolithic membrane houses many otoliths. As a group, the otoliths are displaced by the force of gravity relative to the supporting cell fabric of hair cells. Hair bundles (composed of kinocilium and stereocilia) embedded in the otolithic membrane are displaced, and their angular deflection is detected in the hair cell.

Head Rotation

Human sense of head rotation: Ampulla of membranous labyrinth in semicircular duct: ampullary nerve with a crista cap. The cupula senses change in flow of endolymph, as the crista is displaced by fluid moving in the ampulla. This change in flow is from head rotation.