How your ears work
How do structures of the ear enable us to hear
1. Sounds from the environment enter the ear through the pinna
10. Within the brain is where the sound is processed and understood.
9. The acoustic nerve sends these nerve impulses to the brain
7. Vibrations pass through the cochlea, setting the fluid inside the cochlea in motion.
6. The mechanical energy is now carried via the ossicles to the cochlea in the inner ear
8. The movement of the fluid enables special sensory cells or hair cells within the cochlea detect the mechanical energy. The sensory cells convert the mechanical energy into electrical or nerve impulses.
4. Acoustic energy causes the eardrum to vibrate
3. The ear canal carries the acoustic energy to the eardrum
2. The pinna collects sound waves or acoustic energy and directs it into the ear canal
5. When the eardrum vibrates they cause the ossicles in the middle ear to vibrate. Vibration of the eardrum and ossicles causes the acoustic energy to be converted to mechanical energy or vibrations in the middle ear
(hold mouse over the numbers to start interaction)