Ear anatomy and physiology
How do we hear?
Hearing starts with the outer ear. When a sound is made outside the outer ear, the sound waves, or vibrations, travel down the external auditory canal and strike the eardrum (tympanic membrane). The eardrum vibrates. The vibrations are then passed to three tiny bones in the middle ear called the ossicles. The ossicles amplify the sound and send the sound waves to the inner ear and into the fluid filled hearing organ (cochlea). Once the sound waves reach the inner ear, they are converted into electrical impulses which the auditory nerve sends to the brain. The brain then translates these electrical impulses as sound.