Chapter

The Physics and Physiology of Balance

Justin S. Sipla and Fred Spoor

in Sensory Evolution on the Threshold

Published by University of California Press

Published in print April 2008 | ISBN: 9780520252783
Published online March 2012 | e-ISBN: 9780520934122 | DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.1525/california/9780520252783.003.0014
The Physics and Physiology of Balance

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The vestibular system, identified as the sensory organ of balance, is located in the inner ear of all vertebrates and plays an important role in the organism's body movements or locomotion. This chapter focuses on a part of the vestibular system, the semicircular canal system. It first discusses the functional morphology of the semicircular canal system and highlights two important properties of semicircular canal function: arc size and planar orientation. It then discusses the biophysical and physiological aspects of the vestibular system in land and in water.

Keywords: vestibular system; balance; body movements; locomotion; semicircular canal system; arc size; planar orientation

Chapter.  3495 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Zoology and Animal Sciences

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