ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY ALFRED PASIEKA / SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY
Inner ear anatomy. Computer artwork of a section through the inner part of a human ear, the organ of hearing and balance. The eardrum transmits sounds, as vibrations, from the air to the bones (ossicles), of the middle ear. These bones, from left to right, are the malleus (hammer), incus (anvil) and stapes (stirrup). The ossicles join to the inner ear, which consists of fluid-filled passages called the labyrinth (blue). This includes the cochlea (spiral), which translates the vibrations into electrical impulses that are carried to the brain by nerves (orange), and the semi-circular canals, which are responsible for balance.
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