BALANCE

Balance is an internal sense and relies on sensory receptors that monitor the position of the head and body. Whether we are still or moving, balance is essential for maintaining our posture and stopping us falling over. The vestibule and semicircular canals of the inner ear provide information on the position and movements of the head. Combined with signals from the eyes, this helps us balance.

BALANCE APPARATUS OF INNER EAR

Turning movements of the head are picked up by sensory hair cells embedded in structures called cupulae in the semicircular canals. Tilting movements of the head, and its position, are monitored by hair cells within structures in the vestibule.

OTOLITHS IN VESTIBULE

These tiny crystals, called otoliths, are attached to sensory hair cells in the vestibule. When the head tilts, the otoliths move, causing the hair cells to bend and nerve signals to be sent to the brain.

FIND OUT MORE

Sight

Copyright © 2007 Dorling Kindersley

stay connected

Sign up for our free email newsletters and receive the latest advice and information on all things parenting.

Enter your email address to sign up or manage your account.

Facebook icon Twitter icon Follow Us on Pinterest

editor’s picks

highlights

Join BIC on our mission to save handwriting and Fight For Your Write! Writing helps kids become better readers, boosts their confidence and sparks their creativity. Visit BICFightForYourWrite.com to sign our petition to save handwriting!

7 Fun Driveway and Sidewalk Games for Kids
Looking for classic outdoor games kids can play in the driveway or on the sidewalk, just like the good ol' days? From hopscotch to bubble-blowing contests, there's something for all ages!

Kindergarten Readiness App Wins Gold
Our Kindergarten Readiness app won the Gold Award of Excellence in the educational category at the 2014 Communicator Awards. This valuable checklist comes with games and activities to help your child practice the essential skills she needs for kindergarten. Download the Kindergarten Readiness app today!

Best Sun Safety Practices for Babies
Follow these sun safety practices for babies to ensure your little one stays safe on the beach and on sunny days all year long.