The ear - a magnificent organ
The ear is an advanced and very sensitive organ of the human body.
The major task of the ear is to detect and analyse noises by transduction. Another very important function is to maintain the sense of balance.
The best way to describe the functioning of the ear is to describe the path which the sound waves take on their way through the ear.
The sound waves travel from the outer ear and in through the auditory canal, causing the eardrum, or tympanic membrane, to vibrate. This, in turn, causes the three small bones, known as the ossicles, or the hammer, the anvil and the stirrup, in the middle ear to move. The vibrations move through the fluid in the cochlea in the inner ear, stimulating thousands of tiny hair cells. This results in the transformation of the vibrations into electrical impulses finally perceived by the brain as sound.
The ear is divided into three different parts:
- The outer ear
- The middle ear
- The inner ear
On these pages you can read comprehensive descriptions of the ear and how it functions.