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How the Ear Works

Hearing Health text on green background

Understanding the parts of the ear — and the role of each in processing sounds — can help you better understand hearing loss.

The Outer Ear

The auricle (pinna) is the visible portion of the outer ear. It collects sound waves and channels them into the ear canal (external auditory meatus), where the sound is amplified.

The sound waves then travel toward a flexible, oval membrane at the end of the ear canal called the eardrum, or tympanic membrane. Sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate.

The Middle Ear

The vibrations from the eardrum set the ossicles into motion. The ossicles are actually tiny bones — the smallest in the human body. The three bones are named after their shapes: the malleus (hammer), incus (anvil) and stapes (stirrup). The ossicles further amplify the sound.

The tiny stapes bone attaches to the oval window that connects the middle ear to the inner ear. The Eustachian tube, which opens into the middle ear, is responsible for equalizing the pressure between the air outside the ear and that within the middle ear.

The Inner Ear

The sound waves enter the inner ear and then into the cochlea, a snail-shaped organ. The cochlea is filled with a fluid that moves in response to the vibrations from the oval window. As the fluid moves, 25,000 nerve endings are set into motion. These nerve endings transform the vibrations into electrical impulses that then travel along the eighth cranial nerve (auditory nerve) to the brain.

The brain then interprets these signals, and this is how we hear.

The inner ear also contains the vestibular organ that is responsible for balance.


Research Shows A Closer Look at the Cochlea

A small portion of a rodent’s cochlea is captured in this image. In green are four rows of hair cells that respond to sound vibrations, and in red are auditory nerve fibers that convey sound information from the hair cells to the brain. Researchers at Johns Hopkins are studying the molecular mechanisms that guide the formation of hair cells. Studies such as these might be a step towards less invasive treatments for deafness in which molecular cues can be used to biologically regenerate hair cells in the cochlea.

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ANAT 260 West Coast University Physiology Lab I Anatomy Questions

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View attached explanation and answer. Let me know if you have any questions. Running Head: ANAT 260 SIGNATURE ASSIGNMENT ANAT 260 SIGNATURE ASSIGNMENT Name goes here West Coast University Class goes here Instructor goes here Date goes here 1 ANAT 260 SIGNATURE ASSIGNMENT 2 Question 1 The pleural cavity would be the serosal cavity that has penetrated by first allow within the thoracic cavity. The pleural cavity is found in the pulmonary pleurae and has been separated by the mediastinum. The serosal membrane refers to a transparent or clear thin membrane made of a simple squamous epithelium, known as the mesothelium. This serosal membrane has a thin layer of areolar supportive tissues rich in lymphatic vessels and blood. The serosal membrane is located in body walls and enclosed organs (Liang et al., 2020). The membrane is characterized by mesothelium cells which permeable, allowing tissue fluids known as transudate to penetrate, keeping the membrane moisture easily. Hence, transudate helps the serosal membrane to minimize friction in its surfaces (Herrick & Wilm 2021). However, when the arrow penetrated the left pleural cavities and thoracic, it increased the amount of transudate, resulting in further complications. Question 2 The Autonomic Nervous System (ANS) is a peripheral nervous system responsible for regulating multiple physiological systems. Sheng & Zhu (2018) noted that this includes regulating body temperature, excretory, digestive, respiratory, cardiovascular system coordination, and reproductive. ANS comprises parasympathetic and sympathetic divisions. These two divisions create an opposing effect from inhibition and excitation effects. These divisions simultaneously function to adapt to acute problems when the body adjusts and reacts to trauma. Sheng & Zhu (2018) argued that the sympathetic nervous system responds to trauma by constricting blood vessels. This dramatically increases respiratory rate, blood pressure, body temperature, respiratory rate, and rapid pulse. ANAT 260 SIGNATURE ASSIGNMENT 3 Further, controlled and appropriate neuroendocrine responses termination and activation influence normal functioning of physiological aspects (Sheng & Zhu, 2018). This is critical since it involves restoring and maintaining ho...

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Module 8 Signature Assignment The signature assignment for this...

Campus Alert

Jamie wallace, knowledge and understanding of forensic anthropology.

anatomy signature assignment

Submitted to Dr. Fain-Thornton for BIOL-210

My signature assignment was about all of the aspects and duties of a forensic anthropologist. I had already learned a lot about the processes of bone remodeling and development in Anatomy and Physiology I, but after diving into more research I was able to expand my knowledge even more. The most interesting part was learning about the nine stages of human decomposition! The duties of a forensic anthropologist are not easy and require a lot of precision and accuracy when it comes to identifying human remains.

General Education Connections

The signature assignment helped me develop these skills by allowing me to create it in my own imaginative and creative ways. Yes, we have to use scholarly articles for our information, but when I found artwork that displayed the nine stages of human decomposition, my paper became more interesting and so did my research. For my thinking strategies, I sat down and read each article to see how they were related, and how they were different from each other. This allowed me to add bits and pieces of new information to help me understand the roles of a forensic anthropologist in an organized way. I used my scientific reasoning skills by following the steps of the scientific method in my own way. I made observations when it came to discovering the articles and finding valid information, which led me to making predictions and gathering my research.

One challenge that I overcame during the process of the signature assignment was creating it for my own understanding, rather than just submitting it for what my professor wants to see. During the last paragraph, we were asked to write about if we would consider a career in forensic anthropology. Normally, I would say yes because that’s what I would think my professor would want to hear. Instead, I said no and ended up backing up my decision with valid reasons. Overall, I felt like this paper was a pure reflection of my knowledge not just based on the scholarly sources and information, but also a reflection of what I learned from Dr.Fain-Thornton in Anatomy and Physiology I.


The process of gathering information from this signature assignment will be very helpful for my future. To begin with, I realized the process of finding scholarly articles and journals is not as hard as I used to think it was. Staying organized and reading each word of an article that is relatable to your paper is the key to success. The more sources you come across and take the time to read, the better the understanding of the topic!

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