The vestibulocochlear nerve (sometimes referred to as the auditory nerve) is the eighth of twelve cranial nerves. This group includes all the nerves that emerge from the cranium (skull), as opposed to those that emerge from the vertebral column (spinal cord). It is a paired set of nerves (one from each ear) and the nerve is located in the internal auditory canal, a part of the skull’s temporal bone.

The vestibulocochlear nerve is responsible for both hearing and balance and brings information from the inner ear to the brain. A human’s sense of equilibrium is determined by this nerve.

Two special organs help the nerve function properly: the cochlea and the vestibular apparatus. The cochlea transforms sound waves into electrical signals that the brain can interpret. The vestibular apparatus senses changes in the position of the head in relation to gravity.

Problems with the vestibulocochlear nerve can result in vertigo, vomiting, ringing in the ears, a false sense of motion, motion sickness, or even hearing loss.