MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY MEHAU KULYK / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Inner ear, artwork. The cochlea (left) is a hollow spiral that contains microscopic hairs that respond to sound vibrations from the middle ear. Nerves connected to the cochlea carry the sound information as electric impulses to the brain. The three loops (semicircular canals, right) are fluid-filled passages, which are part of the labyrinth. These canals provide the sense of balance by detecting movement of fluid through the three planes.
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