Excitatory synapse

Excitatory ending Lateral vestibulospinal tract

Inhibitory interneuron

Excitatory synapse

To flexor muscles To extensor muscles

Figure 2.37 Vestibulospinal Tracts

Sensory input from the vestibular apparatus is used to maintain stability of the head and to maintain balance and posture. Axons convey vestibular information to the vestibular nuclei in the pons, and then secondary axons distribute this information to five sites: spinal cord (muscle control), cerebellum (vermis), reticular formation (vomiting center), extraocular muscles, and cortex (conscious perception). This figure shows only the spinal cord pathways.

Gustatory (Taste) System: Receptors

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