|How the Ear Works
How the Ear Works Part I: Sound waves enter the ear canal and vibrate against the tympanic membrane.
How the Ear Works Part II: Sound passes through the tympanic membrane, vibrates the tiny bones of the ear, and is translated to a nerve impulse through the cochlea. The cochleus, in turn, sends sound impulses to the temporal lobe of the brain. The ear is also responsible for the sense of balance, which occurs within the vestibular apparatus. The vestibular apparatus translates information about the body's position to the brainstem.
© Merck Pharmaceutical, Inc., 2000