The Ear.ent

The Ear

The Ear serves two very important purposes: hearing and  balance control.

The perception of our environment via sensory organs plays a crucial role in survival and evolution. Hearing, one of our most developed senses, depends on the proper function of the auditory system and plays a key role in social communication, integration, and learning ability.

The Ear: Hearing

The ear picks up sound waves and transforms them into electrical signals which travel along nerves to the brain. The signals are interpreted by the brain and connected to other impressions and experiences. Furthermore, the sound is then perceived as loud or quiet, speech, music or a message such as “the phone is ringing.”
Sounds are the external stimuli which affect the level of energy in your brain. When the interpretation of this audio information is disturbed due to poor hearing then this may affect the mental capacity, the learning abilities and also the emotional and behavioral functions of the individual.

Balance Perception: 

Your inner ear contains semicircular canals filled with fluid and hair-like sensors. When you move your head, the fluid inside these loop-shaped canals flows around and moves the hairs. The hairs transmit this information along the vestibular nerve to your brain. Finally, your brain sends signals to your muscles to help you stay balanced.
  • Fuchs JC, Tucker AS. Development and Integration of the Ear. Curr Top Dev Biol. 2015;115:213-32. 
  • Richardson M. Hearing and balance. Part 1–the outer and middle ear. Nurs Times. 2007 Sep 18-24;103(38):24-5.
  • Coleman MN, Colbert MW. Correlations between auditory structures and hearing sensitivity in non-human primates. J Morphol. 2010 May;271(5):511-32.