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The Vestibular SystemA Sixth Sense$
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Jay M. Goldberg, Victor J. Wilson, Kathleen E. Cullen, Dora E. Angelaki, Dianne M. Broussard, Jean Buttner-Ennever, Kikuro Fukushima, and Lloyd B. Minor

Print publication date: 2012

Print ISBN-13: 9780195167085

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: May 2012

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167085.001.0001

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The Efferent Vestibular System

The Efferent Vestibular System

Chapter:
5 The Efferent Vestibular System
Source:
The Vestibular System
Author(s):

Jay M. Goldberg

Victor J. Wilson

Kathleen E. Cullen

Dora E. Angelaki

Dianne M. Broussard

Jean A. Büttner-Ennever

Kikuro Fukushima

Lloyd B. Minor

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780195167085.003.0005

The vestibular labyrinth in all vertebrate classes receives an efferent innervation, arising from cells in the brain stem. 2 reviewed the peripheral innervation patterns and central pathways of the efferent vestibular system (EVS) in mammals while synaptic mechanisms were considered in Chapter 3. This chapter emphasizes possible functions of the efferent innervation. Because much of the available information is from non-mammalian species, it begins with a brief comparative review of central pathways. The response of afferents to electrical stimulation of efferent pathways is then considered. Next, it summarizes the response of efferent neurons to natural stimulation. Finally, it reviews efferent-mediated responses of afferents. In each section, an attempt is made to interpret findings in terms of testable propositions about efferent function. At the same time, it has to be recognized that the functions of the efferent innervations have remained elusive and may very well differ across the vertebrate scale. Moreover, efferents may serve several functions in any one species.

Keywords:   vestibular labyrinth, efferent innervations, afferents, efferent vestibular system, efferent neurons, electrical stimulation

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