Vestibulospinal tract

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Vestibulospinal tract
File:Medulla spinalis - tracts - English.svg
Vestibulospinal tract is 2c, in red at bottom center.
Diagram of the principal fasciculi of the spinal cord. (Vestibulospinal fasciculus labeled at bottom right.)
Latin tractus vestibulospinalis
Gray's subject #185 760
Dorlands/Elsevier t_15/12817329


The vestibulospinal tract is one of the descending spinal tracts of the ventromedial pathway. It originates from the vestibular nuclei of the medulla, which conducts information from the vestibular labyrinth in the inner ear.

Motion of fluid in the vestibular labyrinth activates hair cells that signal the vestibular nuclei via cranial nerve VIII.


The medial part of the vestibulospinal tract project bilaterally down the spinal cord and triggers the cervical spinal circuits, controlling a right position of the head and neck.

The lateral part of the vestibulospinal tract projects ipsilateral down to the lumbar region. There it helps to maintain an upright and balanced posture by stimulating extensor motor neurons in the legs.

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