The projections of the saccule, an otolith end organ, to the cochlear nuclei were studied using both transganglionic transport and intracellular injection techniques. Labeled fibers and terminals were observed in the anterior and posterior portions of the ventral cochlear nucleus and the dorsal cochlear nucleus. Most terminals were present in the granule cell domain, especially in the subpeduncular corner between the anteroventral cochlear nucleus and the floccular peduncle of the cerebellum. It has been hypothesized that the cochlea in mammals may have developed phylogenetically from the saccule. The projections from the saccule to the cochlear nuclei were investigated in a mammalian species, the Mongolian gerbil, in an attempt to obtain initial information supporting or refuting this hypothesis. The presence of an otolith end organ projection to the cochlear nuclei in rodents should encourage comparative studies in additional aspects of the evolution of the auditory system.

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