(1) Ear Design
• Ear is a well designed funnel:
– Sound waves spiral down into auditory canal.
– Sound Waves smack against ear drum (tympanic
• Sound Path:
– Inside ear
– Tympanic Membrane (Ear Drum)
– Hammer, Anvil, Stirrup (3 Bones)
– Oval Window of Cochlea
– Fluid within Cochlea
– Cochlear Nerve and Brain
• Cochlea = Snail like structure in inner Ear.
• Contains receptors for balance and
• Contains receptors for pitch and frequency.
(3) Equilibrium & Balance
• Your ears keep track of your body’s
• Equilibrium receptors lie within the cochlea
(they are called the Vestibular Apparati).
• 2 Types of Equilibrium:
(4) Static Equilibrium
• Static = Tells brain the basic position of
– Up, Down, Left, Right, Forward, Back
• Uses Receptors called the Macuale:
– On top of maculae lies the otolithic membrane
– When Head Moves Otoliths Move!
– Movement of otoliths places pressure on
maculae, sending message through vestibular
nerve to brain.
(5) Dynamic Equilibrium
• Dynamic = Tells brain the more detailed
positioning and movement of the head.
– Rotations and Angles
• Uses the Semicircular Canals of Cochlea:
– Contain channels called Crista Ampullari.
– Crista Ampullari contain receptor cells,
endolymph fluid and a capula cap.
– When head turns, fluid pushes against capula
cap, stimulating receptors, and sending
message to brain.
(8) Motion Sickness
• The result of an inefficient dynamic
– Semicircular Canals either too sensitive or too
slow at sending messages
• Too many visual messages
• Too many inner ear messages
• Visual conflicts with Inner Ear
• Unique to each individual
• Deaf = Any hearing loss