Ear: 3 Components, Structure & Functions-Analyzing Sound Waves YouTube Lecture Handouts

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Ear Structure & Functions

Ear is the organ of hearing and, in mammals, balance.

The ear's function is to transmit and transduce sound to the brain through the parts of the ear: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear

Each ear consists of three portions:

(i) External ear

(ii) Middle ear

(iii) Internal ear


  • Mechanism of Hearing

  • Providing balance

Sound Wave Particle Displacement

  • Sound waves are longitudinal waves.

  • motion of air molecules associated with sound.

Longitudinal Waves and Transverse Waves

  • Longitudinal wave: Wave in which particles of the medium move in a direction parallel to the direction that the wave moves.

  • Transverse waves: Always characterized by particle motion being perpendicular to wave movement.

Difference between Loudness, Pitch and Quality or Timbre

Process of Hearing Sound

  • Sound waves at different pressures vibrant eardrum.

  • Middle ear bones are set in motion.

  • Bones amplify (about 20x).

  • Transmit sound to fluid of cochlea through oval window.

  • Cochlea transduces sound waves into action potentials.