Proprioception – The body’s sense of its location within its physical environment. Proprioceptors are specialized molecules on PERIPHERAL NERVES in the muscles that send a continuous barrage of NERVE impulses to the basal ganglia and other structures of the BRAIN that have roles in balance and movement. The balance functions in the vestibular structures of the inner EAR also contribute sensory information. Proprioception is essential for all voluntary movement. Proprioception diminishes in neuromuscular disorders such as PARKINSON’S DISEASE and also with ALCOHOL intoxication. The classic field SOBRIETY test is a measure of proprioceptive loss.
See also VESTIBULAR NEURONITIS.