Three semicircular canals contain receptor cells for determining angular movements of the head. This information is used for establishing equilibrium. The cochlea is a coiled canal that contains receptor cells that respond to vibrations transferred from the middle ear. The interior of the cochlea is divided into three regions, or scalas: the scala vestibuli, the scala tympani, and the cochlear duct (scala media). The scalas are tubular channels that follow the coiled curvature of the cochlea. At the middle ear, the scala vestibuli and the scala tympani connect to the oval and round windows, respectively. At the other end of the cochlea, in a region called the helicotrema, these two scalas join, allowing free movement of the perilymph within. The third scala, the cochlear duct, is separated from the scala vestibuli and the scala tympani by the vestibular membrane and the basilar membrane, respectively. The cochlear duct is filled with endolymph and internally lined with the organ of Corti. The
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