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Vestibulocochlear nerve

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Title: Vestibulocochlear nerve  
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Subject: Hair cell, Vestibulospinal tract, Cranial nerves, Auditory system, Cochlear nerve
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Vestibulocochlear nerve

Vestibulocochlear nerve
The course and connections of the facial nerve in the temporal bone
Inferior view of the human brain, with the cranial nerves labelled.
Latin Nervus vestibulocochlearis
To Cochlear nerve, vestibular nerve
MeSH A08.800.800.120.910
Anatomical terms of neuroanatomy

The vestibulocochlear nerve (auditory vestibular nerve), known as the eighth cranial nerve, transmits sound and equilibrium (balance) information from the inner ear to the brain.


  • Structure 1
    • Development 1.1
  • Function 2
  • Clinical significance 3
    • Symptoms of damage 3.1
    • Examination 3.2
  • History 4
    • Etymology 4.1
  • See also 5
  • References 6
  • Additional images 7
  • External links 8


The vestibulocochlear nerve consists mostly of bipolar neurons and splits into two large divisions: the cochlear nerve and the vestibular nerve.

The cochlear nerve travels away from the place theory and temporal theory.

The vestibular nerve travels from the semicircular canals. Hair cells of the cristae activate afferent receptors in response to rotational acceleration. The other two sensory organs supplied by the vestibular neurons are the maculae of the saccule and utricle. Hair cells of the maculae in the utricle activate afferent receptors in response to linear acceleration while hair cells of the maculae in the saccule respond to vertically directed linear force.


The vestibulocochlear nerve is derived from the embryonic otic placode.


This is the nerve along which the sensory cells (the hair cells) of the inner ear transmit information to the brain. It consists of the cochlear nerve, carrying information about hearing, and the vestibular nerve, carrying information about balance. It emerges from the pontomedullary junction and exits the inner skull via the internal acoustic meatus (or internal auditory meatus) in the temporal bone.

The vestibulocochlear nerve carries axons of type SSA, special somatic afferent, which carry the modalities of hearing and equilibrium.

Clinical significance

Symptoms of damage

Damage to the vestibulocochlear nerve may cause the following symptoms:




Some older texts call the nerve the acoustic or auditory nerve,[2] but these terms have fallen out of widespread use because they fail to recognize the nerve's role in the vestibular system. Vestibulocochlear nerve is therefore preferred by most.

See also


  1. ^ Coad, ML; Lockwood, A; Salvi, R; Burkard, R (2001). "Characteristics of patients with gaze-evoked tinnitus". Otology & Neurotology 22 (5): 650–4.  
  2. ^

Additional images

External links

  • MedEd at Loyola GrossAnatomy/h_n/cn/cn1/cn8.htm
  • cranialnerves at The Anatomy Lesson by Wesley Norman (Georgetown University) (VIII)
  • Notes on Vestibulocochlear Nerve
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