Illustration of the anatomy of the human ear

Illustration of the anatomy of the human ear

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Credit: DAVID GIFFORD/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Illustration of the anatomy of the human ear. Sound waves are collected by the ear pinna (at left) and pass down an auditory canal to strike the eardrum (centre, white). Vibrations are trans- mitted via three tiny ear bones (malleus, incus & stapes) into fluid-filled structures of the inner ear (at centre right). Three coils of the semi- circular canals detect balance and body orien- tation. While in the cochlea (blue), tiny hair cells are sensitive to vibrations of the cochlear fluid and these activate nerves (yellow) which connect to the brain. Thus, a sense of hearing results from the conduction of sound waves through air, bone and fluid in the ear.

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Keywords: anatomy, artwork, auditory sense, ear, hearing, human body, inner ear

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