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The Bionic Ear

            Ears are extremely unique organs that detect all sounds around mechanically. So this means the entire hearing system is based from physical movement. An object creates sound by vibrating. This vibration travels through the atmosphere by air particles. These vibrations are caught by the Outer part of the ear (Pinna). The pinna has unique shaping which helps detect the direction of sound. The soundwave then travels through the ear canal and interrelates with eardrum. Once in the ear canal the tympani membrane (eardrum) vibrates. The eardrum is located between the middle ear and ear canal. The middle ear connects to the throat through the Eustachian tube. This allows air to flow from mouth and outer ear to allow equal air pressure. This allows the eardrum to move freely. The eardrum reacts to compressions and refractions of sound waves. Higher pitch sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate at a faster rate. Louder sound moves the drum a further distance back. The next part of the ear is the ossicles (comprises of malleus, incus, stapes) When the eardrum vibrates it moves there malleus from side to side. The other end of which is connected to the incus which is attached to the stapes. The other end of staped sits against the cochlea. When the air pressure compression pushes into the eardrum the ossicles amplify the soundwave and move resulting in cochlear fluid shifting. The stapes creates waves in cochlear fluid that show pressure fluctuations of sound wave. This travels from the oval window to other end of cochlear where it pushes along the basilar membrane. The basilar membrane is made up of reed like fibres that need the same resonant frequency. The organ of corti contains tiny hair cells and lies next to the basilar membrane. When the hair cells move electrical impulses are sent through the cochlear nerve. The cochlear nerve then sends these impulses to the cerebral cortex, where the brain interprets what they mean.

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