Saturday, April 9, 2011

How We Hear?


The ear is divided into three sections:
  • The outer ear, which have the pinna and the ear canal,
  • The middle ear, which includes the eardrum and the ossicles (three linked, moveable bones),
  • Inner ear, where the cochlea is located.

Sound is entered/funneled into the ear canal, where sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate. The vibrations are passed to the small bones of the middle ear, which ultimately leads to the hair cells within the cochlea. The movement of the cochlear hair cells converts the vibrations into the nerve impulses/current. The nerve impulses travel over the cochlear nerve to the auditory cortex of the brain, which interprets the impulses as sound. It means we hear from our brain the ears are just a medium, or as an input device for the brain. The ear’s job is to sense vibrations in the air and pass the sensory data to those parts of the brain who interpret the meaning of the sound. This process of making sense of airways is what we called hearing. And scientists say that entire auditory system is in fully developed state in a new born baby or even before birth it is in fully developed state. He or she can hear the sound but cannot make sense of it that is why exposure to meaningful sounds, speech, music are essential for healthy auditory development even in case of an infant diagnosed with hearing loss.

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