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May 1967

Central Connections of the Vestibular System

Author Affiliations

New York
From the Department of Anatomy, College of Physicians and Surgeons, Columbia University, New York.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1967;85(5):517-520. doi:10.1001/archotol.1967.00760040519008

THE VESTIBULAR system is unique among the special sensory systems in that its secondary fibers appear to be the most widely dispersed within the neuraxis. This wide distribution within the central nervous system appears appropriate for a special sensory system primarily concerned with equilibrium, modification of muscle tone, and orientation in three-dimensional space. The vestibular system is not the only sensory system concerned with these functions, but it seems to be the only one exclusively devoted to these functions.

Anatomical information regarding the vestibular system concerns almost exclusively primary and secondary vestibular fibers distributed in a specific manner within the brain stem, cerebellum, and spinal cord. While it seems certain that tertiary vestibular pathways exist, anatomical data concerning these are meager. This brief review will be limited to discussion of primary and secondary vestibular fibers, and certain comments concerning relationships between structure and function. Virtually all of the observations and

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