The Inner Ear – interesting facts

September 25, 2010 | In: Medical facts

The inner ear consists of the cochlea and the semicircular canals. The cochlea serves to permit hearing

Sound waves entering the ear set up a chain of vibrations, starting with the eardrum. The vibrations are then transferred via the middle ear bones (ossicles) to the cochlea. One of these bones (the stapes) moves up and down in the oval window causing fluid waves in the cochlea that are dependent on both the frequency of the sound, and its amplitude (volume). The response of the hair cells to these waves is dependent on their location within the cochlea.

The cochlea is designed so the hair cells right near the oval window move in response to high frequency sounds while those furthest from the oval window move in response to low frequency sounds. There is a very smooth gradient between the two extremes. The brain is thus able to tell what frequency a sound is by which of the hair cells in the cochlea are moving and sending out sound signals.

As noted above, the semicircular canals are necessary for balance. There are three of these canals that are positioned at right angles to one another. Like the cochlea, they contain fluid and specialized hair cells. They are different, however, because they contain small crystals that move freely in the fluid when the head moves. These crystals brush against the hair cells to indicate that the head has changed position. If one spins around and around, the fluid and the crystals continue to move even after the head has stopped moving. This explains why a person becomes dizzy and may fall down from too much spinning.

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1 Response to The Inner Ear – interesting facts



February 5th, 2012 at 11:27 pm

Dear whoever is reading this,

I really like this website but if you don’t mind can you put some hearing games so we can see if we know about hearing or not.




P.S My friend likes JUSTIN BIEBER.

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