The vestibulocochlear nerve (CN VIII) is concerned with two different functions (hearing and stato-dynamic stabilization of the head and body) with their own ganglions (Scarpa, vestibular) and nuclei within the brainstem (Fig. 2.3).
From the embryological point of view, the ear represents a convergent zone of different visceral arches explaining why the auricle is innervated by the four mixed nerves and the cervical plexus (Fig. 2.4). More specifically, the hyoid arch and the mandibular arch develop six buds along the first ectodermal fissure growing around the ecto-dermic invagination, which later will produce the external auditory meatus going to the neural pla-code and the mesoblastic components of the middle ear. Therefore the auricle is an original part of the body, made by skin and cartilage in which there are very rich neurovascular plexuses combining myelinated and unmyelinated vegetative fibers able to generate intense vascular reaction (red ear) in varying circumstances. The auricle can in fact be considered as a neurovascular organ.
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