The Ear - The Ear: The outermost part of the ear (the outer...

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Test Question: The hair cells are located in the: a. Pinna b. Oval Window c. Cochlea d. Tympanic Membrane The Ear : The outermost part of the ear ( the outer ear ) consists of three parts; the pinna, ear canal and ear drum. The folds or cartilage surrounding the ear canal are called the pinna . Sound waves are reflected and attenuated when they hit the pinna , and these changes provide additional information that will help the brain determine the direction from which the sounds came. The sound waves enter the ear canal , a deceptively simple tube. The ear canal amplifies sounds that are between 3 and 12 kHz. At the far end of the ear canal is the eardrum or tympanic membrane , which marks the entrance to the middle ear. The tympanic membrane is a thin membrane that separates the external ear from the middle ear . Its function is to transmit sound from the air to the ossicles inside the middle ear. The malleus bone bridges the gap between the eardrum and the other ossicles. Sound waves traveling through the ear canal hit the tympanic membrane which sends a wave of information across the air- filled middle ear cavity via a series of delicate bones: the malleus, the anvil, and the stirrup. These bones are known as ossicles. They convert the lower-pressure eardrum sound vibrations into higher-pressure sound vibrations at another smaller membrane called the oval window . If the hair cells next to the oval window in the cochlea are stimulated, we would perceive a high frequency sound. High pressure is necessary because the inner ear beyond the oval window contain fluid rather than air. The sound is not amplified uniformly across the ossicular chain. The auditory reflex of the middle ear muscles helps protect the inner ear from damage. The middle ear still contains
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This note was uploaded on 04/24/2008 for the course BCS 110 taught by Professor Holtzman during the Spring '08 term at Rochester.

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The Ear - The Ear: The outermost part of the ear (the outer...

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