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Anatomy of The Ear

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Diagram of the Ear
Diagram of the Ear

The ear is made up of three different parts. The outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear.

  • The outer ear is made up of the part we can see called the pinna and the ear canal which leads down to the ear drum.

  • The middle ear is a space filled with air behind the ear drum, where the three smallest bones in the body, the ossciles, are suspended. There is also a tube connecting the middle ear space to the throat called the Eustachian tube.

  • Finally, the inner ear, known as the cochlear, transfers the vibrations of the sound waves that pass through the outer and middle parts into an electrical stimulus that is sent along the auditory nerve and is interpreted by the brain as sound.

 

How it all works:

A sound wave is collected by the pinna and guided along the canal to the ear drum. The ear drum then vibrates with the sound pressure of the sound waves which in turns moves the ossciles in a lever action. The ossciles work as a lever mechanism to transfer the sound wave vibrations into the inner ear (cochlear) which is filled with fluid. This fluid then vibrates also, stimulating small hair cells within the cochlear which trigger the firing of neurons. This firing of neurons passes the signal along the nerve to the brain. The sound is then processed by the brain.

 

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