How do we hear?
Hearing is a complex process that allows us to better understand and interact with the world around us. The ear is made up of three different parts: the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear. Sound travels through all three parts before it reaches the brain.
Outer ear consists of the ear drum and canal. This is the only part of the ear visible to the human eye. Sound travels down the canal. When it reaches the eardrum, it causes it to vibrate.
Middle ear Located right behind the ear drum it is made up of three very small bones called ossicles. When the eardrum vibrates, it in turn causes the ossicles to vibrate, which creates movement of fluid in the inner ear.
Inner ear The movement of fluid in the inner ear (cochlea) causes movement in tiny structures called hair cells. The movement of the hair cells then sends electric signals along the auditory nerve to the brain. Once the electronic signals reach the brain it interprets them as sound.