VESTIBULOCOCHLEAR NERVE ANATOMYThe vestibulocochlear nerve goes by numerous other names it its reference. I may be called the auditory nerve, the acoustic nerve, or the stato-acoustic nerve. Its basic function is to provide nerve function to the structures that are housed within the skull. The vestibulocochlear nerve is unique in the fact that it does not leave the cranial cavity.
VESTIBULOCOCHLEAR NERVE STRUCTUREThis nerve is actually composed of two separate nerves, each which form within the inner ear, that merge into one to create a purely sensory nerve.
There are organs known as vestibular organs within the inner ear that maintain things such as balance and equilibrium. These organs give rise to the nerve known as the vestibular nerve. These organs, such as the saccule, semicircular ducts, and the utricle, contain the bipolar neurons necessary for the creation of vestibular ganglion. The vestibular ganglion then house the cell bodies.
At this point, impulses run along the appropriate fibers to the vestibular nuclei found within the pons and the medulla oblongata. Additional fibers create a pathway for the continuation of the communication into the thalamus and the cerebellum.
VESTIBULOCOCHLEAR NERVE DIAGRAM
Image: Vestibulocochlear Nerve
VESTIBULOCOCHLEAR NERVE FUNCTIONSThe organ of Corti, or the spinal organ, hosts the beginning of the cochlear nerve. This organ (which is partially responsible for hearing) is known as the cochlea. Bipolar neurons within the cochlea create the origin of the cochlear nerve, and this nerve is responsible for the impulses which need to reach the spiral ganglion and the cochlear nuclei within the medulla oblongata. The journey of the impulses concludes after traversing the fiber pathway to the thalamus which synapse with the neurons necessary to reach the aufitory area of the cerebral cortex.
In the event that the cochlear nerve suffers damage or injury, the likely result is perception deafness. In the event that the vestibular nerve suffers damage or injury, the likely result is a complete lack of balance control and dizziness.