Deep inside the head is the inner ear, which contains 3 small, fluid-filled structures called the semicircular canals (ducts). Each duct has a swelling at the end called the ampulla. Within the ampulla are tiny "balance" receptors called crista.
Review Date: 5/1/2011 Reviewed By: Linda J. Vorvick, MD, Medical Director, MEDEX Northwest Division of Physician Assistant Studies, University of Washington School of Medicine. Also reviewed by David Zieve, MD, MHA, Medical Director, A.D.A.M., Inc.