3D Ear

Overview > Ossicles > Tympanic Membrane > Tendons > Nerves > Inner Ear

Labeled image of the inner ear, lateral view

Cochlea

The cochlea, as the name implies, is shaped like a snail shell, with 2 1/2 turns. The cochlear nerve (the part of the eighth cranial nerve involved in hearing) ends in the organ of Corti, a structure in the interior of the cochlea. The energy of air pressure waves (sound) is transferred by the middle ear into the liquid waves that are generated in the liquid medium of the cochlea. The mechanical energy of these liquid waves is then converted within the cochlea to the electrical energy transmitted by the cochlear nerve to the brain.

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Utricle/Saccule

Labeled image of the inner ear, medial view

The utricle and saccule sense linear acceleration in the horizontal and vertical planes, respectively.

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Semicircular Canals

The semicircular canals sense angular movement by the motion of the cristae ampullaris, structures found in the semicircular ampullae. There are three semicircular canals (superior, lateral and posterior) each of which lies in a plane perpendicular to the planes of the other two canals. Each of the semicircular canals has its own ampulla. The ends of the superior and posterior canals combine to form a common crus.

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