Explain the following:
Mechanism through which a sound produces a nerve impulse in the inner ear.
The pinna of the external ear collects the sound waves and directs them to the tympanic membrane (ear drum) via the external auditory canal. The ear drum then vibrates the sound waves and conducts them to the internal ear through the ear ossicles. The ear ossicles increase the intensity of the sound waves. These vibrating sound waves are conducted through the oval window to the fluid in the cochlea. Consequently, a movement is created in the lymph. This movement produces vibrations in the basilar membrane, which in turn stimulate the auditory hair cells. These cells generate a nerve impulse, conducting it to the auditory cortex of the brain via afferent fibres. The auditory cortex region interprets the nerve impulse and sound is recognised.
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