Project Description

How we hear

Our ears pick up sound waves and direct them to the brain where they are analysed and interpreted into meaning. The sound waves travel through the outer ear into the middle ear and inner ear, leading up to the brain for hearing interpretation. Four parts of the ear are involved in hearing.

1. The Outer Ear
Sound waves enter the outer ear and travel through the ear canal to eardrum, causing it to vibrate.

2. Middle Ear
The vibrations travel to the eardrum, which is connected to three tiny bones in the middle ear called ossicles. The ossicles naturally amplify the sound before it enters the inner ear.

3. Inner Ear
This part of the ear contains a fluid-filled cochlea lined with thousands of tiny hair cells. As the fluid moves in waves along the cochlea, the hair cells bend and trigger impulses through the auditory nerve. The number of hair cells bending, and their location, determine the frequency and intensity of the sound.

4. The auditory nerve
These impulses travel up to the auditory nerve to the brain, where they are interpreted as meaningful sounds.

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