Grandma Moon Speaks: The Human Ear Part 2

Topics Covered:

  • The Cochlea
  • Semi-circular Canals

Music doesn’t lie. If there is something to be changed in this world, then it can only happen through music – Jimi Hendrix

Now you can take a look at how the ear is designed without getting dizzy:

By Chittka L, Brockmann

The inner ear has two portions – the Semi-circular Canals and the Cochlea.

These canals are used for the other two major functions of the ear – balance and positioning. The cochlea, with its unique shell-shaped design, is another funnel through which the sound must continue its journey.

The inner ear is encased in the hardest bone of the body, and it holds fluid, instead of air. When the stapes pushes against the cochlea, the fluid is moved – just like how ripples are formed when a stone drops into a pool. The movement of the fluid stimulate tiny hair cells, called ganglions, which convert this movement into electrical signals to transport to the brain. It works similarly to how rods and cones turn light into electrical signals. These ganglions are receptor cells, too.

The electrical signal is transported to that region of the brain designed to interpret it, via the Cochlear nerve. The actual hearing is done in the brain.

Takeaways:

  • The inner ear has two portions – the Semi-circular Canals and the Cochlea.
  • The movement of the fluid in the cochlea stimulate tiny hair cells which convert this movement into electrical signals to transport to the brain.

Links for further study:

Next: Frequency Range of the Human Ear
Previous: The Human Ear Part 1