Sensory hair cells in ear, SEM

Sensory hair cells in ear, SEM

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Credit: SUSUMU NISHINAGA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Sensory hair cells in ear. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of hair cells in the cochlea, the inner ear's auditory sense organ. The three rows of crescent-shaped areas are numerous stereocilia, and are located on top of supporting hair cells. Sound waves entering the inner ear displace the fluid that surrounds the stereocilia, causing them to bend. This triggers a response in the hair cells, which release neurotransmitter chemicals that generate nerve impulses. The nerve impulses travel to the brain along the auditory nerve. This process transmits information about the loudness and pitch of a sound.

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Keywords: anatomical, anatomy, audiology, biological, biology, cells, cilia, cilium, cochlea, cochlear, coloured, ear, false-coloured, hair cell, hair cells, hearing, human body, images, inner ear, magnified image, microscopic subjects, orange, organ of corti, otology, physiological, physiology, pillar cells, row, scanning electron micrograph, scanning electron microscope, sem, sense, sensory, stereocilia, stereocilium, support cells, tissue

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