Balance, sense of: Our sense of balance is regulated by a complex interaction of the following parts of the nervous system:
- The inner ears (also called the labyrinth) monitor the directions of motion, such as turning or forward-backward, side-to-side, and up-and-down motions.
- The eyes observe where the body is in space (i.e., upside down, right side up, etc.) and also the directions of motion.
- Skin pressure receptors such as those located in the feet and seat sense what part of the body is down and touching the ground.
- Muscle and joint sensory receptors report what parts of the body are moving.
- The central nervous system (the brain and spinal cord) processes all the bits of information from the four other systems to make some coordinated sense out of it all.
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Last Editorial Review: 1/24/2017