INSTITUT PASTEUR / CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY INSTITUT PASTEUR / CNRI / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Organ of Corti inner hair cells from the cochlea of the inner ear, coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM). This is the organ that converts sound waves into nerve impulses, and is thus responsible for the sense of hearing. The organ contains rows of hair cells (cilia) arranged in V shapes (yellow). In the body, these are surrounded by a fluid called endolymph. When sound enters the ear it causes waves in the endolymph, which disturb the hair cells. This triggers the production of electrical impulses, which are relayed to the brain by the auditory nerve (not seen). Magnification: x3000 when printed 10 centimetres wide.
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