What Are the Balance Centers of the Brain?

Quinn Dombrowski/CC-BY-SA 2.0

The cerebellum, Latin for “little brain,” is the part of the brain that is partly responsible for the movement, coordination and balance of the body. The cerebellum sits at the back of the skull, below the two cerebral hemispheres, and consists of three main parts: the archicerebellum, the paleocerebellum and the neocerebellum. The archicerebellum is the part that deals with balance; it connects to the inner ear.

The connection of the brain and the inner ear is called the vestibular system. The labyrinth section of the inner ear contains fluid. When a person moves his head, the movement of the inner ear’s fluid sends signals to the archicerebellum, which then processes these signals and sends messages to the rest of the body, maintaining coordination and balance.

Traumatic brain injuries often cause balance problems due to damage to the connection between the central nervous system, of which the cerebellum is a part, and the rest of the vestibular system. Symptoms of this damage include dizziness and vertigo.

Ménière’s Disease is the production of excess fluid in the labyrinth section of the inner ear that can interfere with human balance by sending inaccurate signals to the cerebellum. This disorder is most common among middle-aged people.