Book Definition:

The sense of body orientation with respect to gravity. The vestibular sense is closely associated with the inner ear and is carried to the brain on a branch of the auditory sense.
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In Your Own Words


  • It helps you feel which way is up, and how your body is moving in space.
  • Your sense of balance. (Which is why when people get ear infections they may have dizzy spells.)
  • It lets you feel whether you are sitting, standing, kneeling, jumping, running, etc.
  • Your equilibrium.

Examples/Functions



  • When moving your head (straight, leaning, nodding, etc.) vestibular sense is being used.
  • When standing on one leg with your arms in the air, the vestibular sense helps keep you balanced so you have a lesser chance of falling over.
  • As a child did you ever spin yourself in circles and then try to walk straight? You couldn't walk straight because your body was receiving impaired vestibular information.
  • Knowing whether you are upside down or right side up.




Additional Resources



  1. http://www.neuroexam.com/content.php?p=23
  2. http://webspace.ship.edu/cgboer/senses.html