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50.5 MB (50.0 MB compressed)
4850 x 3638 pixels
41.1 x 30.7 cm ⏐ 16.2 x 12.1 in (300dpi)
SUSUMU NISHINAGA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY SUSUMU NISHINAGA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Sensory hair cells in ear. Coloured scanning electron micrograph (SEM) of hair cells in the cochlea, the inner ear's auditory sense organ. The crescent-shaped arrangements of hairs across top are the stereocilia. Each crescent lies atop a single cell. Sound waves entering the inner ear displace the endolymph 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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