Auditory Sensations Essay

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Along with vision, hearing is one of the most important senses that humans have. We use it to communicate, learn, and stay aware of our environment. In fact, hearing is the only sense that never stops receiving sensory input. While all of our other senses become drastically less sensitive when we are sleeping, our brain still processes auditory information to awaken us the second something is wrong. Although this may have been more practically used before people slept safely in homes, it’s still useful for hearing a fire alarm or our alarm clock in the morning. We are able to hear by processing sound waves. This energy travels through the delicate structures in our ears to be transformed into neural activity so that we can perceive the …show more content…
The eardrum extends across the entire canal and provides a surface where the sound waves can collect. This is where the outer ear ends and the middle ear begins. The middle ear contains three tiny bones, or auditory ossicles, the malleus, the incus, and the stapes. The malleus is attached to the eardrum, the incus is attached to the malleus, and the stapes is attached to the incus. The stapes is also bound to the oval window, an opening in the bone that surrounds the inner ear (Martini, 2009). As the sound waves vibrate the eardrum, the auditory ossicles change the sound waves into mechanical movements. They collect the force applied to the eardrum and, functioning as a lever system, focus this on the oval window (Martini, 2009). The inner ear is an interconnected network of fluid-filled tubes encased in bone. One part of this network called the cochlea, a spiral shaped bony chamber, contains the receptors that provide our sense of hearing. Because the fluid is surrounded by bone, the pressure that is applied at the oval window must be relieved at a second opening below the oval window called the round window (Martini, 2009). Pressure waves enter one side of the fluid filled cochlea at the oval window, travel up and through the cochlear duct, and come back down the other side to exit at the round window. Inside the center of the fluid chamber is the cochlear duct which is filled with rows of thousands of hearing

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