About This Chapter
Sound & Hearing - Chapter Summary
Although we all know humans use sound to communicate, this chapter explains how mammals, insects and even fish use vibrations to 'talk' to one another. Topics covered in these lessons include the mechanics of the ear, how sound waves turn into information that our brains understand and recognize and how the external ear structures are just as important as the internal ones when it comes to sound.
Related lessons cover the causes of hearing impairment and what can be done to treat this condition. Once you have worked through the lessons in this chapter, you should be ready to do the following:
- Compare the functions of the pharynx and larynx
- Describe the important ear components including the auditory nerve and the Organ of Corti
- Detail how the tiniest bones in the middle ear work to help you hear
- Explain how the inner ear is responsible both for hearing and balance
Watch our short video lessons and read through our text lessons to get a thorough and complete explanation of the topics you need to know. All of our learning materials have been created by professional instructors who are experts in their respective fields. You can read through the entire chapter or just pick and choose the lessons you'd like to focus on. Self-assessment quizzes are a great way to pace yourself to make sure you comprehend what you're reading.
1. Sound & Vibration for Communication
What is sound and how does it create the sensations we interpret in our brains? If this question interests you, this lesson will help you answer it. Here, we'll explain how sound works as a form of communication for humans, fish, and insects.
2. The Pharynx & Larynx: Definition & Terms
This lesson will define the pharynx (nasopharynx, oropharynx, and laryngopharynx), as well as the larynx and epiglottis, their combining forms, and their major functions.
3. Mechanics of Hearing & How the Brain Processes Sound
How do our ears transform sound into signals that our brains can process? In this lesson, you'll cover properties of sound waves and how they interact with key parts of the ear.
4. The Ear: Hair Cells, Organ of Corti & the Auditory Nerve
In this lesson, you'll learn the most important things about cranial nerve VIII, the auditory nerve and the Organ of Corti. In addition, you'll realize that even though you may not like it, your ears are quite hairy thanks to hair cells.
5. Anatomy of the Ear's External Structures
What is the pinna? Is it the same thing as your earlobe? Does the eardrum have anything to do with the tympanic membrane? Find out as we explore all of this and other important structures involved in the sensation of hearing as sound enters your ear.
6. The Middle Ear: Structures & Functions
Your middle ear turns sound waves from the world around you into vibrations, which can be used to make nerve signals for your brain. This is a big job for the tiniest bones of your body. Learn about the little bones, or ossicles, of the middle ear.
7. How the Inner Ear Supports Hearing and Your Sense of Balance
You usually think of your ears for hearing, but did you know they also help you maintain your balance? In this lesson, you will learn about the structures of the inner ear and how they help support hearing and your sense of balance.
8. What is Hearing Impairment? - Definition, Causes & Treatment
This video lesson discusses hearing impairment, from the different types and their causes to available treatment options. Following the lesson is a short quiz to test your knowledge.
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