Auditory Pathways

  1. The vestibulocochlear nerve, the eighth cranial nerve, transmits sound and equilibrium information from the inner ear to the brain.
    Thalamic nuclei:

MNG = Midline nuclear group
AN = Anterior nuclear group
MD = Medial dorsal nucleus
VNG = Ventral nuclear group
VA = Ventral anterior nucleus
VL = Ventral lateral nucleus
VPL = Ventral posterolateral nucleus
VPM = Ventral posteromedial nucleus
LNG = Lateral nuclear group
PUL = Pulvinar  MTh = Metathalamus
LG = Lateral geniculate nucleus
MG = Medial geniculate nucleus

    Inferior view of the human brain, with the cranial nerves labelled.

  2. The superior olivary complex is a collection of brainstem nuclei that functions in multiple aspects of hearing and is an important component of the ascending and descending auditory pathways of the auditory system.
    Scheme showing the course of the fibers of the lemniscus; medial lemniscus in blue, lateral in red. (Superior olivary nucleus is labeled at center right.)

  3. The inferior colliculus is the principal midbrain nucleus of the auditory pathway and receives input from several peripheral brainstem nuclei in the auditory pathway, as well as inputs from the auditory cortex.
  4. The medial geniculate nucleus is part of the auditory thalamus and represents the thalamic relay between the inferior colliculus and the auditory cortex.
  5. The primary auditory cortex is the part of the temporal lobe that processes auditory information in humans and other vertebrates.