Functional anatomy of the balance function of the inner ear

Welcome! This learning tool is developed to bring you an understanding of the functional anatomy of the balance function of the inner ear.


1. Click "start" on one of the modules on the home page and navigate your way through them by scrolling down each page and clicking "next" when it appears.

2. To go back a page just click the arrow beside the "page numbers e.g. 1/6" at the upper right hand side of the page.

3. Answer true or false, drag and drop, multiple choice, fill in the blanks and many other types of questions along the way!

4. Look out for the:

picture and attempt what is asked - it will help your understanding!

5. You can stop at any time by clicking the "take a break" icon in the top right corner or go back to the home page by clicking the "home" icon in the top left corner.

By the end of this learning tool you should:

When you are ready, click "Start course" at the top right hand side of this page and remember to HAVE FUN!

1. Basic anatomy of the internal ear

What is the internal ear?

The bony labyrinth

The membranous labyrinth

Test your understanding! Fill in the blanks.

Test your reasoning! True or false?

Test your knowledge! Label the diagram of the right vestibular system:

  • Cochlea
  • Cochlear duct
  • Utricle
  • Saccule
  • Oval window
  • Round window
  • Endolymphatic sac
  • Endolymphatic duct
  • Ampulla of semicircular duct
  • Ampulla of semicircular canal

2. How does the inner ear control balance?

The vestibular system

Mechanical transduction in the hair cells

Function of the semicircular ducts in balance

Function of the otolith organs in balance

Test your knowledge! The otolith organs consist of the:

Test your understanding! Describe the events that occur once the stereocilia bend towards the kinocilium.

Fill in the blanks:

3. Did someone say SCIENCE?

Semicircular canal evolution and human bipedalism

The role of the vestibular system

Give it a go!

If an individual is falling asleep whilst sitting upright in a chair and their head begins to fall forwards, what reflex is put to work to correct this and move the head back into an appropriate position?

Give it a go!

4. Summary

What have you learned?