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Vestibular cochlear nerve


  • The nerve leaves the anterior surface of the brain between the lower border of the pons & the MO
  • The nerve is concerned with transmitting afferent information from the internal ear to the CNS
Vestibular nerve nuclei and their central connection
Cochlear nerve and their central connections
Vestibular nerve
Cochlear nerve
  1. The vestibular nuclear complex has 4 nuclei (Lateral, Superior, Medial & Inferior)
  2. Afferents 
    1. Conduct impulses from the utricle & saccule that provide information about the position of the head
    2. Conduct impulses from the semicircular canals that provide information about the movements of the head
  3. Efferents from nuclei
    1. To cerebellum via inferior cerebellar peduncle
    2. To spinal cord via vestibular spinal tract (Uncrossed)
    3. To 3, 4 & 6 nerves via medial longitudinal fasciculus
    4. To the cerebral cortex through VP nuclei of the thalamus
  4. Functions
    1. Enable the movements of the head & the eyes to be coordinated – Maintain visual fixation
    2. Maintain balance by influencing muscle tone of limbs & trunk
  1. Conducts nerve impulses concerned with sound from the organ or Corti in the cochlea
  2. There are 2 cochlear nuclei (Anterior & posterior)
  3. The 2 nuclei are situated on the surface of the inferior cerebellar peduncle
  4. Ascending auditory tract (Lateral lemniscus) sends information to 1stry & 2ndry auditory cortex on both sides of the brainstem (Mainly in the contra lateral side)
  5. 1stry auditory cortex               : On the superior temporal gyrus
  6. 2ndry auditory cortex              : responsible for recognition & interpretation of sounds on the basis of past experience
  7. Descending auditory pathway ends on the hair cells of the organ of Corti (Feedback mechanism & inhibit the reception of sounds)

Examination of the vestibular cochlear nerve : Cochlear component

Whispering test

  • Test by whispering numbers into one ear while masking the hearing of the other ear
  • If the hearing is impaired, examine the external meatus & the tympanic membrane with auroscope to exclude wax & infection

Differentiate conductive (Middle ear) deafness & perceptive (Nerve) deafness

Weber’s test

  • Hold the base of a vibrating tuning fork (256 or 512 Hz) on the vertex
  • Ask the patient if the sound is heard more on one side
  • In conductive deafness : Sound is louder in the affected ear (External distraction is reduced)
  • In nerve deafness : Sound is louder in the normal ear

Rinne’s test

  • Hold the base of a vibrating tuning fork against the mastoid bone & ask the patient if note is heard
  • When note disappears – Keep the tuning fork in front of the external meatus
  • Patient should hear the sound again (If normal), because air conduction is better than bone conduction


  • In conductive deafness : Bone conduction > Air conduction
  • In nerve deafness : Both bone & air conduction are impaired
Vestibular cochlear nerve Vestibular cochlear nerve Reviewed by Radiology Madeeasy on August 07, 2010 Rating: 5
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