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Next Generation: MS.LS1.8 MS.LS1.8


Author: Nathan Lampson

This lesson will describe how the structure of you ear along with receptors allows you to hear. It will also investigate the ear's role in balance and equilibrium.

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Terms to Know
Auditory Canal

A canal that funnels sound waves from outside the ear toward the middle ear.

Auditory Nerve

A nerve that carries signals from the inner ear to the brain.


A coiled fluid-filled sac located in the inner ear that plays a role in sorting sound waves.


Units used to measure the intensity of sound.

Hair Cells

Mechanoreceptors in the ear for sound.


Sensory receptors located in the ear that aid in the process of hearing.

Organ of Corti

A structure found in the cochlea that contains hair cells, which are mechanoreceptors for sound.

Otolith Organ

A part of the vestibular apparatus that help detect changes in the position of the head in space.

Round Window

A membrane that acts as a release valve for pressure.

Semicircular Canals

Three structures of the inner ear that are involved with balance and equilibrium.


Mechanical energy that travels in the form of a wave detected by our ears.

Tectorial Membrane

A structure in the cochlea with which hair cells interact to produce action potentials.

Tympanic Membrane

A membrane located in the ear that vibrates in response to incoming sound waves. Also known as the “eardrum”.

Vestibular Apparatus

Composed of the three semicircular canals and two fluid-filled sacs, which monitor equilibrium.