Physiology of hearing

Transmits vibrating column of air

Vibrates and transmits movement to ossicles

Move in a lever action to cause vibration of the oval window

Converts oval window vibrations to electrical signals

Nerve impulses transmitted to cortex in response to cochlear activity

Nerve impulses perceived as sound





Transformation of environmental sound to perception of hearing at the cortex

Scala vestubuli (perilymph)

Figure 2.2

The fine structure of the cochlea showing hair cells and the auditory nerve

(a)  Cross-section of the cochlea. The scala tympani and scala vestibuli are filled with perilymph, and the scala media is filled with endolymph. It is separated from the scala tympani by Reissner's membrane and from the scala vestibuli by the basilar membrane which supports the organ of Corti

(b)  Diagram representing the organ of Corti. The entire length of the cochlea contains one row of inner hair cells and three rows of outer hair cells

The ear has two physiological functions: hearing and the maintenance of balance (see Chapter 12).

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