Lecture: Physiology of Hearing and Equilibrium I. Physical Characteristics of Sound A. Sound as Vibration of Air Molecules Traveling in Waves 1.

vibration of medium - sound travels in compression waves through a particular medium a. solid-------------> liquid ----------------> gas fastest slowest 2. sound as a wave - the series of high pressure and low pressure areas are called “compressions” and “rarefactions”, respectively a. b. c. sine wave - graphic representation of areas of compression and rarefaction of a sound wave wavelength - the distance between 2 areas of compression for a given sound wave frequency - the number of waves that pass a given point in one second (1/s = 1 Hertz) i. ii. iii. d. short wavelength/high frequency - high pitched tones long wavelength/low frequency - low pitched tones human frequency range - 20Hz - 20,000 Hz (2-3 Hz distinction)

amplitude - intensity of energy in a given wave of sound; signified by height of sine wave i. ii. loudness - subjective interpretation of the intensity of a sound decibel - logarithmic scale to measure the intensity of sound waves Perceived Loudness barely audible 2 X 0 dB 4 X 0 dB 8 X 0 dB 16 X 0 dB

Energy in the Sound Wave 0 dB threshold for audibility 10 dB l0 X 0 dB 20 dB 100 X 0 dB 30 dB 1000 X 0 dB 40 dB 10,000 X 0 dB iii. II.

human amplitude range - 0 dB - 120 dB (130 dB = pain level)

Transmission of Sound to the Inner Ear air --> external auditory canal --> tympanic membrane (ear drum) -->

d. vibration of vestibular membrane vestibular membrane vibration -> endolymph vibration endolymph vibration -> vibration of basilar membrane basilar membrane “fibers” of different length. incus. resonance .) --> oval window of cochlea --> vibration of cochlear fluid --> basilar membrane of cochlea III. b. Excitation of Hairs Cells of Organ of Corti 1. contain "stereocilia" which project into the "tectorial membrane" just above a. cochlear hair cells . basilar m.different fibers of basilar membrane have different “natural frequencies” b.ossicles (malleus.amplitude increases. 4. c. C. thickness. vibration -> hair cell vibration hair cell vibration -> opening/closing channels depolarization/hyperpolar -> cochlear nerve cochlear nerve impulses -> to brain IV. Perceiving Pitch (Frequency) .20. SPECIFIC parts of basilar membrane vibrate only at SPECIFIC frequency (pitch) B. vibration of oval window -> perilymph vibration for 20 . Processing of Auditory Information A.location of vibration on the basilar membrane Perceiving Differences in Loudness (Intensity) . 5. 2.000 Hz only. B.rest on the basilar membrane. 3. Anatomical Pathway to the Brain cochlear nerve (vestibulocochlear VIII)-> spiral ganglion --> cochlear nuclei (medulla) --> superior olivary nucleus --> lateral lemniscal tract --> inferior colliculus --> medial geniculate body of thalamus --> auditory cortex (superior temporal lobe) V. and tension like strings of a piano a. more hair cells of the basilar membrane (with same pitch) are activated localizing Source of Sound . stapes. Resonance of Basilar Membrane 1. Resonance of Basilar Membrane & Excitation of Hair Cells A.

hairs bend when motion is UP/DOWN 2.bony cavity of the inner ear between the cochlea and the semicircular canals a. vestibule .jelly-like sheet that abuts the "stereocilia" of the hair cells i. 4. hair cells . chronic loud noise) damage to vestibulocochlear nerve (VIII) damage to nuclei/tracts to the cortex C.the difference in timing in which a sound reaches both ears VI.maculae of UTRICLE is in the horizontal plane.maculae of SACCULE is in the vertical plane. 2. 4. b. vertigo. relative intensity .hardening of the earbone joints sensorineural deafness . Linear Movement: The Maculae of the Vestibule 1.the amplitude of sound waves hitting the different ears relative timing . fluid) perforated tympanic membrane (eardrum) otitis media . hairs bend when motion is FORWARD/BACKWARD vertical acceleration ."ear stones" that rest on top of the otolithic membrane horizontal acceleration . maculae . 2.1. conduction deafness . Equilibrium and Balance: The Vestibular Apparatus A.patch of "supporting cells" and "hair cells" along the utricles and saccules i. 2.disruption in sound vibrations to basilar membrane (ext & mid ear) 1.disruption anywhere in pathway from hair cells to the auditory cortex 1. otolithic membrane . and interspersed nausea and vomiting 1. Menierre's Syndrome .first point where sound from both ears come together a. may be too much endolymph beneath basilar membrane symptoms can be treated somewhat with drugs endolymph may be drained periodically hearing loss is progressive VII. respond when bent c. saccule and utricle . 2. . 3. results in tinnitus. sudden blow to the tympanic membrane gradual deterioration of afferents in cochlear nerve D.effects both hearing and balance. 3. 3. otoliths . superior olivary nucleus . 3.smaller sacs housed within the vestibule b. loss of hair cells (explosion. Typical Hearing Disorders A. tinnitus .like hair cells of basilar membrane. B.chronic perception of clicking or ringing 1.middle ear infection/inflammation otosclerosis . blocked auditory canal (wax.

2. contain hair cells that respond to flow of endolymph in canals a. posture.like maculae. Angular Movement: The Crista of Semicircular Canals 1. coordinates information to help regulate head position. neck. coordinates information to help control motion of eyes.movement of the head in non-linear (circular or angular) direction is monitored by three canals vestibular nystagmus . 5. semicircular canals .block inputs from vestibular apparatus to the brain .three bony "hula-hoop" extensions of vestibule in three different planes crista ampullaris . Dramamine. cupula .B. cerebellum . vestibular nuclei . 4. and balance D.movement of eyes to remain fixed on object when on "merry-goround" vertigo . Bonine. Scopolamine . Equilibrium Pathway: Coordinating Inputs in Brain activated hair cells of crista ampularis -> afferent axon fibers (vestibulocochlear nerve) -> vestibular nuclear complex OR cerebellum 1.conflict between visual/somatic inputs and action of the vestibular apparatus a. limbs 2. Problems with Equilibrium 1. imbalance.also receive input from eyes and somatic proprioceptors.false feeling of gravity or motion 3. 2. C.like otolith membrane.also receives input from eyes and somatic proprioceptors. dizziness. gelatinous "cap" into which hair cells project change in angular (rotational) acceleration . vomiting motion sickness . nausea.

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