Hearing depends on a series of steps that involves changing of sound waves in the air into electrical signals. Our auditory nerve then sends these signals to the brain for us to perceive sound.

structure of the ear-lenstapesmed.com
ear drawing lenstapesmed.com

Process of hearing

  1. Sound waves enter the outer ear and travel through a passageway called the ear canal, which leads to the eardrum.
  2. The eardrum vibrates from the incoming sound waves and sends these vibrations to three tiny bones in the middle ear. These bones are called the malleus, incus, and stapes.
  3. The bones in the middle ear amplify the sound vibrations and send them to the cochlea, a snail-shaped structure filled with fluid.
  4. Once the vibrations cause the fluid inside the cochlea to ripple, they make hair cells which are sensory cells sitting on top of the basilar membrane move up and down. When that happens, chemicals rush into the cells, creating an electrical signal.
  5. The auditory nerve carries this electrical signal to the brain, which turns it into a sound that we recognize and understand.

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