How the Ears Work - Nemours KidsHealth
- How the Ears Work - Nemours KidsHealth
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Learn how the ears work in this short video from Nemours KidsHealth:
The ears collect sounds and turn them into messages for the brain to interpret. They also send information about balance to the brain.
Three sections of the ear work together to make this happen: they are the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear.
The outer ear is made up of the pinna and the ear canal.
These parts gather sounds from the environment and funnel them into the middle ear
The middle ear takes these sounds and turns them into vibrations.
Sounds that come into the middle ear hit the eardrum, causing it to move. The Eustachian tube helps the eardrum to work well by keeping the air pressure balanced on both sides.
When the eardrum moves, it makes three small bones, called ossicles, vibrate.
The vibrations are then sent to the inner ear.
The inner ear receives vibrations and changes them into messages that go to the brain. These messages are called nerve signals.
The inner ear is made up the cochlea and vestibule, which includes the semicircular canals.
The cochlea has fluid in it that moves like a wave. This happens when vibrations come in from the middle ear. The moving fluid causes hair cells make nerve signals about sound.
Semicircular canals also use moving fluid to create nerve signals that help with balance.
Then, the signals from the cochlea travel along the auditory nerve.
The signals from the semicircular canals travel along the vestibular nerve.
These two nerves come together and travel to the brain. There, the brain decodes the signals to get information about sound and balance.
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