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Stephanie Azzopardi



1. Humans and other animals, are able to detect a range of
stimuli from the external environment, some of which
are useful for communication
Identify the role of receptors in detecting stimuli
Cells of the nervous system not all same some have role of detecting changes in the
Skin: pressure, pain, heat & cold receptors
Taste: salty, sour, sweet, bitter, umami
Smell: Approx. 1000 different receptors that detect over 10000 different odours
Photoreceptors: eye detect light
Mechanoreceptors: ear vibrate in response to sound waves, skin detect pressure and
Thermoreceptors: skin detect warmth and cold
Chemoreceptors: nose and tongue detect odours and tastes
Explain that the response to a stimulus involves:
Essential for survival we need to pick up information from environment interpret it
React appropriately
Stimulus provoked by change in internal or external environment
Receptor detects stimulus
Each sensor receptor responsible for particular stimulus
Messenger receptors that change energy of stimulus into energy used to start nerve
impulse Nerve impulse = messenger
Effector Organ that receives message carries out response
Response carried out

Stephanie Azzopardi


Identify data sources, gather and process information from secondary sources to identify
the range of senses involved in communication
Combination of senses and signals used in communication
Importance of each of the senses differs from animal to animal


Communication by colour
Pattern of plumage
Body movement
Facial expression used to signal breeding times, threat, defend territory


Communication by chemical signals

Scent marking of boundaries and territories
To search for and identify food and water
Species and sex recognition
Detect and avoid harmful substances


Communication by sound
Used to defend territory
Alert others of danger
Used in breeding
Bird song helps females find males of same species


Avoiding obstacles
Defence mechanisms
Friendship behaviour and copulation
Animals use to attract others


Bees and blowflies have taste receptors on feet that help locate food


Senses to detect electric fields

Magnetic fields
Polarised light

Stephanie Azzopardi


2. Visual communication involves the eye registering

changes in the immediate environment
Describe the anatomy and function of the human eye, including the:



Delicate membrane
Covers the surface of the eye and
inside eyelids

Protects front part of eye


Front part of eyeball

Transparent & relatively thick

Refracts light rays as they pass through


White part of eye

Continuous with cornea but not

Protects eye
Helps maintain shape


Inside of sclera
Thick, black layer containing blood

Carry oxygen and nutrients to eye & remove

carbon dioxide and wastes
Prevents light in eye from reflecting internally


Inner most layer of eye & lines back of

Contains photoreceptors (rods &
Contains retinal nerve cells convert
incoming light into nerve impulses

Receives light changes into electrical

impulses that travel via the optic nerve to the
- Allow us to see shape, movement and


Coloured part of eye

Ring of muscles with a hole in middle
(the pupil)

Controls amount of light entering the eye

Stephanie Azzopardi



Transparent, biconvex protein disc

behind the pupil and iris

Focuses light rays onto the retina


Aqueous humour
Viscous liquid fills front chamber of eye
Vitreous humour
Jelly-like fills larger back chamber of

Help keep eyeball in spherical shape

Refract light as pass through


Connects choroid with lens

Contains suspensory ligaments and
ciliary muscles

Suspensory ligaments Hold lens in

Ciliary muscles Alter shape of lens


Connects eye to brain

Blind spot: has no photoreceptors and
cannot produce an image

Carries nerve signals from retina to visual

cortex in brain interprets them as images


Stephanie Azzopardi


Plan, choose equipment or resources and perform a first-hand investigation of a

mammalian eye to gather first-hand data to relate structures to functions
Aim: To dissect a cows eye so that various structures can be identified and related to their
1. Collect dissecting scissors, scalpel forceps, newspaper and eye
2. Observe exterior
4 muscle attachments move eye from side to side
(Trim off muscle and fat)
Sclera protects and maintain shape of eye
Cornea transparent opening that allow light to enter and refract light
Optic nerve lower back white cylinder transmits impulses to visual cortex of brain
that then interprets them as an image
3. Used scalpel to make incision at junction of cornea and sclera
Clear liquid that flows out = aqueous humour (helps eye maintain pressure)

Stephanie Azzopardi


4. Make incision around circumference of sclera

Jelly-like liquid = vitreous humour (helps eye retain its shape and refract light)
5. Observe front half of eye
Clear biconcave lump of thick jelly = lens (changes shape to focus)
6. Iris
Surrounds the lens
Opens and closes to regulate amount of light entering
Associated with ciliary body (set of muscles which change shape of lens)
7. Back of eye:
Retina = blood vessels (contains rods and cones that detect light and colour)
8. Behind the retina (ONLY SPECIFIC TO COWS)
Tapetum Bright coloured layer that helps reflect light in dark
Specific to nocturnal animals
Sits in front of choroid layer = prevents internal reflection
The structures of the eye relate to its function of admitting light, refracting and focusing it to
form an image and converting this to an impulse that is presented to the brain

Identify the limited range of wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum detected by

humans and compare this range with those of other vertebrates and invertebrates
Electromagnetic spectrum = range of wavelengths of electromagnetic radiation
Can detect wavelengths between 380 and 780 nm of the electromagnetic spectrum
Range = visible light (what we can only see) colours red, orange, yellow, green, blue,
indigo and violent

Stephanie Azzopardi


Blue-green (500nm) Most effective wave lengths for human eye

Can detect different ranges of electromagnetic ranges compared to humans
Many not able to distinguish colours
Dogs see similarly to human who is red-green colour blind
Rattlesnakes have receptors in pits between eye and nostril detect infrared radiation
Helps locate prey (animals radiate heat, a form of infrared radiation)
Fish and snakes can see longer wavelengths so can detect infrared radiation (heat)
Birds detect greater wavelength than humans
Some very sensitive to red end of spectrum
Can detect infrared radiation Some can detect UV light reflected by white and
violet-coloured flowers and insects (see below)
Can detect different ranges of electromagnetic radiation
Spiders & Insects (e.g. Bees) see UV light
Less sensitive to higher wavelengths (red end) of the spectrum


Use available evidence to suggest reasons for the differences in range of electromagnetic
radiation detected by humans and other animals
Colour sensitivity is related to the structure of the eye

Stephanie Azzopardi


Number of types of colour-sensitive cones + sensitivity range = determines colour vision

Some organisms with compound eyes (e.g. bees) have visual cells sensitive to different
ranges of electromagnetic radiation
Colour vision related to evolution
Believed that humans and our primate line evolved from nocturnal ancestor our colour
vision evolved separately from many of the other placental mammals
Type of Animal

Name of animal




spectrum used
UV and Visible


Infrared and




UV and visible



Can detect insects from over a km
Active at night
Detect infrared from their prey
Allows snake to hunt successfully
at night
Active during day uses colour for
perception of objects
Can detect ultraviolet markings on
flowers that we cannot see
> Patterns guide the insect to pollen
or nectar source
Use UV to navigate in the sky
when migrating over great

Stephanie Azzopardi


3. The clarity of the signal transferred can affect interpretation of

intended visual communication
Identify the conditions under which refraction of light occurs
Refraction of light bending of light rays
Occurs when light passes from one medium into another that has different density
At boundary of two different media density changes causes speed of light rays to
Light travels slower through water (more dense) than through air (less dense)
Moving from WATER to AIR speed of light increases
Light rays refracted at boundary only approach at angle
Rays that enter at 90 = travel in straight line = normal
Rays that enter at angle bent away from the normal as speed up and towards
normal as they slow down
Refractive index: degree to which object will bend light

Identify the cornea, aqueous humour, lens and vitreous humour as refractive media
Each made of different densities refractive media
Light rays refracted at each boundary between different structures
Cornea where most of refraction occurs in eye
Largest change in index of refraction as light leaves air and enters cornea
Lens ciliary muscles can change shape of lens amount of light refracted varies
Allows focusing on objects at different distances
Does most changing/focusing

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Identify accommodation as the focusing on objects at different distances, describe its

achievement through the change in curvature of the lens and explain its importance
Cornea and anterior (front) & posterior (back) surface of lens refract light entering
Lens convex lens
Birds and mammals lens is focused with ciliary body
Accommodation of the eye
Process lens changes shape to focus images of objects at different distances
onto the retina
Way in which eye adjusts so light always falls on retina
Image needs to fall on fovea greatest density of cones to ensure
Visual acuity clearness of vision
Light rays from distant objects tend to be parallel and need less refraction to form
clear image
Changes in curvature of lens
Focusing on near objects requires more effort than distanced objects
Long Distance vision ciliary muscles = relaxed and lens thinned out
Short Distance vision ciliary muscles = contract and lens more rounded
Bends diverging rays more so that clear image forms on fovea
Importance of process
Focusing = because of accommodation
Essential for image to be focused achieve clear vision
Accommodation allows humans to see both near and far objects clearly

Stephanie Azzopardi


Analyse information from secondary sources to describe changes in the shape of the
eyes lens when focusing on near and far objects
Change in the shape of the eyes lens
Lens is rounder focused on near objects
Lens is flatter focused on distant objects

When looking at something close eye accommodates

Ciliary body squeezes until lens = short and dense & has greater curvature
Maximum Accommodation & refractive power of lens

Stephanie Azzopardi



When looking at something at distance:

Ciliary muscles relax
Lens becomes longer and thinner

Compare the change in the refractive power of the lens from rest to maximum
Refractive power of lens changed by altering its shape
Thick lens ( ) able to refract light rays more than a thin lens ()
When lens contracted bulges out towards the front of the eye and is most powerful
When lens relaxed becomes flatter and is less refractive
Shape of lens is altered by ciliary muscles form ring around lens
Lens attached to ciliary muscles by ring of suspensory ligaments
Rest accommodation: (Long distance)
Ciliary muscles relaxed
Pull on suspensory ligaments pull on lens and keep thin
Reduced refractive power of lens so we can focus on objects in middle distance and far
Maximum accommodation: (Short distance)
Ciliary muscles tighten & contract inwards towards centre of lens
Suspensory ligaments become looser
Allow lens to bulge
Increases refractive power
Thicker lens brings divergent rays together quicker & sooner to converge on retina
Focal point: point of convergence of light rays on retina
Thicker lens = shorter focal length

Stephanie Azzopardi



Plan, choose equipment or resources and perform a first-hand investigation to model the
process of accommodation by passing rays of light through convex lenses of different
focal lengths

Double convex lenses of various thicknesses

Distant objects light rays travelling in almost parallel manner
Close objects light rays diverging from light source
Image = inverted by brain (normally opposite way):

Thanks brain :)

Stephanie Azzopardi


Aim: To model the process of accommodation
1. Use ray box kit with double convex lenses of various thicknesses
2. Pass triple beam through each lens and plot path of each ray.
3. Measure distance between centre of lens and focal point
4. Repeat with lenses of different thicknesses
Results: The thicker lens is used to help focus light from nearby object
Conclusion: Some of the processes of accommodation could be modelled using double convex
lenses of different thicknesses

Distinguish between myopia and hyperopia and outline how technologies can be used to
correct these conditions
Distance between lens and retina is
too great or lens is too strong
image focused in front of retina
Image appears blurred

Distance between lens and retina too short
or too weak image focused behind
retina on imaginary spot
Image appears blurred

Stephanie Azzopardi


Technologies used to correct conditions

Eyeglasses & Contact lenses
Artificial lenses used to correct myopia and hyperopia
Myopia = concave
Hyperopia = convex

Laser or Lasik Surgery
Reshaping the curvature of cornea
Thin flap of corneal tissue cut out
Tissue then folded back and laser beam is applied to exposed corneal tissue
When laser finished flap returned
Contact lenses used for one week to hold corneal tissue in place

Process and analyse information from secondary sources to describe cataracts and the
technology that can be used to prevent blindness from cataracts and discuss the
implications of this technology on society
Describe cataracts

Stephanie Azzopardi


Cataracts condition where lens grows cloudy and eventually becomes opaque
Lens of human eye contain fibres made up of proteins and waterclef when clumps of
protein left on eye = cataract
Opaque areas of the lens prevent light from reaching the retina person becomes blind

Describe the technology that can be used to prevent blindness from cataracts
Cataract microsurgery:
Replacing damaged or cloudy lens with intraocular lens
Tiny incision made where sclera and cornea meet
Instrument inserted breaks up cloudy cataract lens and sucking it away leaving only
lens capsule
Then insert artificial intraocular lens
2-20 minutes
Discuss the implications of this technology on society
Thousands of people who were cataract blind can now see

Surgery people can lead more independent lives
Less public health cost = less community involvement for welfare
More productive economy
Many people die within four years of contraction
Fred Hollows Foundation Australia:

Stephanie Azzopardi


Work to bring affordable sight-restoring eye surgery to indigenous Australians,

particularly in remote and isolated communities
Explain how the production of two different images of a view can result in depth
Depth perception: ability to judge distance from our eyes
Depth perception = depends on binocular vision fields of vision overlap
Predatory animals eyes placed toward front of head gives greater distance and depth
Binocular Vision:
When we use both eyes to look at something, the images formed on the retina are
different because eyes are spaced wide apart so position of objects look different
from one eye
Brain can interpret differences in two images from distance
Beyond 60m binocular vision does not improve depth perception difference
between images two small
Rays of light from distant objects less divergent and images fall close to centre of
We have learned how tall or short certain objects are
When we look at something size of image on retina interpreted as being close or
Indication of distance
Outer edge of retina sensitive in detecting movement
Dim light rods stimulated aware of movement outside corner of eye

Stephanie Azzopardi


4. The light signal reaching the retina is transformed into an

electrical pulse
Identify photoreceptor cells as those containing light sensitive pigments and
explain that these cells convert light images into electrochemical signals that the
brain can interpret
Photoreceptor cells detect and respond to stimulus of light
Human eye found in retina thin sheets of cells at back of eye
Two types Rods and cones
Modified nerve cells (neurones)
Contain light sensitive pigments and convert light images into
electrochemical signals that the brain can interpret
Describe the differences in distribution, structure and function of the photoreceptor
cells in the human eye
The human eye has 125 million rods and 6.5 million cones
More densely concentrated in central fovea & retina each cone cell
connects to one nerve cell
Fovea = small section of the macula at the back of the eye
Spread across the retina in groups
Not located in fovea or macula
3-4 times more numerous than cone cells
More dense at edges of the retina
Require more/bright light than rods to be stimulated
Used for day vision, colour vision and visual tasks requiring visual

Stephanie Azzopardi


activity (e.g. reading small print) + visual acuity

Absorb light and change structure results in action potential light
changed into electrochemical message that is transferred via optic nerve to
More sensitive to light than cones but do not distinguish colours
Function best in dim light
Use for night vision
Allow us to detect shape, movement and to discriminate between light
and dark shades

Narrower, longer and straighter
Contain visual pigments in stacks of disk shaped membranes at one end
of the cell
Other end connects to nerve cell two types of nerve cells in the retina
(bipolar cells & ganglion cells)

Stephanie Azzopardi



Process and analyse information from secondary sources to compare and describe the
nature and functioning of photoreceptor cells in mammals, insects and in one other
The nature of photoreceptor cells in mammals
Rods and cones
Depending on number of cones may be sensitive to a range of colours
Humans and primates full colour vision
Nocturnal animals = higher proportion of rods than cones
Rats dont have cones only see black and white
Rods and cones in mammals
Ciliary photoreceptors
Ciliary membrane expanded and thrown into deep folds (look like discs)
The nature of photoreceptor cells in insects
Compound eyes thousands of photoreceptor cells (ommatidium)
Ommatidia (pl) each ommatidium (s) consists of:
Corneal lens can repair itself
Crystalline cone
o Daytime: reflects light into rhabdom (made of fibres) that respond to light
o Night: becomes a tract (not cone) - info from one ommatidium (rhabdom)
transferred to next rhabdom
Focus on movement NOT visual acuity
Visual acuity x
o Accommodation DOES NOT OCCUR: cant change shape of lens
o Dont have big enough brain to interpret
Photoreceptors absorb certain colours from incoming light & make nerve
impulses similar to vertebrates
Some insects able to distinguish colours

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E.g. Honey bee

4/8 of the visual cells in each ommatidium respond best to yellow-green light
2/8 respond to blue light
Remaining 2/8 respond to UV light
Rhabdomeric photoreceptors:
Increased surface areas fine membranous bristles
Involve activation of enzyme phospholipase

The nature of photoreceptor cells in one other animal
Invertebrates (e.g. flatworms)
Simple light receptors
Patches of photoreceptors in concave cup used to distinguish light from dark
Walls of cup contain pigments (Ocelli) prohibits light penetration from 3 sites
Comparing the photoreceptor cells
Rods and cones in mammals different from those in insects and invertebrates
Occur in different structures & work using different pathways
Mammal: Retinal rods and cones
Insect: Ommatidia
Invertebrates (Flatworm): Ocelli in light sensitive cup
Flatworm different from insect and mammal
No image formed just sensation of light and dark from different directions
Photosensitive (nerve) ganglion cells in mammals similar in insects and

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Outline the role of rhodopsin in rods

Rods contain photosensitive pigment = rhodopsin
Highly sensitive to light
Rods specialised for night vision
Sensitive to blue-green light
Allows us to see shades of black, grey and white
When light hits rhodopsin splits into two parts: opsin and vitamin A
Produces activity in the nerve cell
Bright light rhodopsin broken down faster than can be manufactured
Dim light production able to keep pace with rate of breakdown
Identify that there are three types of cones, each containing a separate pigment
sensitive to either blue, red or green light
Cones 3 different photosensitive molecules colour pigments
Contain retinal molecule
Each retinal molecules linked to one of three different opsins known as
Individual cone contains only one of three types of photopsins
Each type absorbs light in particular range of wavelengths: red, green or blue
So There are 3 types of cones, each sensitive to red, green or blue light


Explain that colour blindness in humans results from the lack of one or more of the
colour-sensitive pigments in the cones
Colour blindness in humans results from lack of one or more of the photopsins in
the cones
Most common = red-green colour blindness

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Cannot distinguish red from green lack either the red or green photopsin
Condition called dichromatism
Some lack blue-sensitive cones blue cannot be distinguished
Monochromatism single-colour vision person has only one type of cone
Colour weakness fewer cones of one type than normal difficult to
distinguish that colour
Process and analyse information from secondary sources to describe and analyse the
use of colour for communication in animals and relate this to the occurrence of colour
vision in animals
Dot point

Mammals (Humans)



Use of colour

Speed visual search using

a key

Signal breeding

Bees: Use UV light to guide

them to pollen or nectar

Improve object recognition


Enhance meaning in
marketing & advertising
Convey structure
Appliances on/off
Diagnosing health
problems (e.g. jaundice)

Threat signals
Used for sexual
between male
and female

Flies: Some male flies have

bright spots on their wings
that they flap around and
show off to females during
mating season
Butterflies: Some have UV
patterns on wings that are
interpreted by other
butterflies to notify that they
are looking for mates

Road signs (red-stop)

Traffic lights (green-go)
Organisation (colour
coding tooth brushes)
Occurrence of
colour vision in

Use of colour for communication only effective if animal receiving message

has colour vision
Mammals with poor colour vision, such as dogs, depend more on their
senses of smell and hearing for communication

Stephanie Azzopardi


5. Sound is also a very important communication medium

for humans and other animals
Explain why sound is a useful and versatile form of communication
Sound form of energy that requires a medium of transmission (e.g. air or water)
Useful and versatile form of communication can be produced as well as detected
Can be used as signal day and night
Can be used over distances when animals cannot see, smell or touch each other
Does not require contact between organisms in order to send and receive messages
Can convey complex messages has many features that can be varied e.g. pitch,
loudness, speed and length of each sound
Explain that sound is produced by vibrating objects and that the frequency
of the sound is the same as the frequency of the vibration of the source of
the sound
Sound = produced by vibrating objects
Vibrations transferred along adjoining molecules
Cannot travel through a vacuum (empty space)
Sound waves must have medium to travel through act by compressing particles in
Medium = solid, liquid or gas
Frequency: number of waves that pass a given point per second (measured in
Frequency determines Pitch: how high or low the sound is
(Pitch and Frequency is not the same thing!)
The frequency of the sound is the same as the frequency of the vibration of the
source of the sound
Depends on amount of energy in wave
The greater the energy of the compression the greater the amplitude of the
The louder the sound

Stephanie Azzopardi



Plan and perform a first-hand investigation to gather data to identify the relationship
between wavelength, frequency and pitch of a sound
Aim: To determine the relationship between wavelength, frequency and pitch of a sound

1. Use a tuning fork, piece of rubber and piece of wood/stand

2. Hit the tuning fork on rubber and immediately place on wood stand
Determine that higher frequency of notes produces a high pitch sound
Higher the frequency the shorter the wavelength

Velocity = frequency x wavelength
High pitched sound = high frequency & short wavelength
Loud = large amplitude
Soft = small amplitude
Loudness of sound determined by energy carried by the wave
Outline the structure of the human larynx and the associated structures that assist the
production of sound
Larynx = voice box
Front of neck
Front part = Adams apple
Contains vocal cords flexible folds of muscle and ligament
Enable humans to make sounds with the tongue, lips, nose and mouth
Production of sound air from lungs causes vocal cords in larynx to open and
close rapidly produces tiny vibrations of weak sound
Sound amplified through throat, palate, mouth and nasal cavity

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Palate: directs airflow from larynx to mouth or nose

Nasal cavity: produces unique voice
Tongue, lips and jaw: produce different speech sounds uh ph g
Gather and process information from secondary sources to outline and compare some of
the structures used by animals other than humans to produce sound

Structure used to produce sound

Ultrasonic signals from larynx
Used to search for insects and other prey & to avoid obstacles in
Ultrasonic waves = high frequency sound waves
Rubbing their fins or gills or by vibrating the swim bladder
Male grasshoppers &
1. Rubbing veins on the base of forewings together
2. Creating friction between inner surfaces of hind thighs
Male frogs
Squeeze lungs while shutting nostrils and mouth air flows over vocal sac

6. Animals that produce vibrations also have organs to detect

Outline and compare the detection of vibrations by insects, fish and mammals
Hearing ability to detect sound waves by changing the vibrations of sound to
electrical energy of nerves

Detection of Vibrations
Only some can hear Crickets, grasshoppers, cicadas, butterflies, moths &
Body hairs may vibrate in response to sound waves
Male mosquitos hairs on antennae that vibrate in response to wing
vibrations of flying female mosquitos brings together for mating
Tympanic organ (some insects) detects vibrations
Tympanic membrane stretched across internal chamber
Sound waves vibrate membrane stimulates receptor cells on inside
membrane or within chamber
Crickets ears on legs
Grasshoppers & cicadas ears on abdomens

Stephanie Azzopardi


Lateral line system on side of body detects:

Fishs movement in water
Direction and speed of current
Vibrations from surrounding objects
Low-frequency sound waves
Receptor cells detect movement water flowing through bends hair cells
produces nervous impulses sent to brain
Inner ears near the brain
Vibrations conducted through skeleton and bladder
Receptors respond to higher frequencies

Ears main organ to detect vibrations
Vibrations detected by hair cells in internal structures due to vibrations of
membranes & amplification from outside to inner ear
Used for communication
Detect size, position & movement of close objects
Used in sperm whales, bats and dolphins
Gather, process and analyse information from secondary sources on the structure of a
mammalian ear to relate structures to functions
Outer Ear | Middle Ear | Inner Ear


Large fleshy external



Collects sound waves from wide area

Directs sound into ear
Waves = vibration of air molecules
Waves continue along canal known as external
auditory meatus

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Ear drum
Stretches tightly across end
of auditory canal


Three tiny bones

Malleus (hammer), incus
(anvil) and stapes (stirrups)

Sound waves cause it to vibrate vibrations travel
to oval window by ear ossicles
Separates outer and middle ear

Transmit sound waves to inner ear (vibrations

travel well through bone)
Tympanic membrane kept tense by malleus
sound vibrating through membrane transmitted to
malleus into inner ear
Eardrum vibrates ossicles vibrate amplifying
the sound and transmitting to oval window
Stapes connects with oval window movement of
inner ear fluid


Small, thin membrane

between middle and inner
Links ossicles with cochlea


Located below oval window

Membrane between middle
ear and cochlea

Bulges outward to allow pressure release in



Fluid-filled chamber
Snail-like spiral coiled tube
Three tubular chambers
35mm long
1st & 2nd chambers
separated by Reissners
2nd & 3rd chambers
separated by basilar

Contains receptors for sound

Vestibular apparatus balance
Round window bulging outwards fluid in
cochlear vibrates
Changes mechanical energy into electrochemical

Organ of

On basilar membrane in
Contains auditory receptor


Nerve travelling from ear to


Receives vibration from tympanic membrane via

ossicles much greater force
Passes vibrations onto fluid in cochlea
Amplifies pressure of sound

Hair cells receptor cells detect vibrations &

generate nerve impulses travel via auditory
nerve to brain
Transfer vibrations into electrochemical signals

Transmits electrochemical signals to brain

Describe the anatomy and function of the human ear

Stephanie Azzopardi



Outline the role of the Eustachian tube

Connects the middle ear to the pharynx (chamber at nose and throat)
Usually closed can be opened by yawning or swallowing
Connects to air-filled space Equalise the pressure on either side of tympanic
membrane (ear drum)

Stephanie Azzopardi


Outline the path of a sound wave through the external, middle and inner ear and identify
the energy transformations that occur
Sound waves collected by the pinna auditory canal tympanic membrane (vibrates
at same frequency as sound)
First ossicle (malleus) attached to tympanic membrane bone vibrates, amplifies
vibration passes onto two other ossicles, amplify vibration
Last ossicle (stapes) attached to oval window vibrates fluid in cochlea vibrates
Sound energy converted to mechanical energy
As oval window bulges into inner ear causes waves in fluid bends hair cells
Hair cells of organ of Corti detect vibration stimulate nerve impulses
Mechanical energy converted into electrochemical energy pass message to cerebrum
in brain via auditory nerve


Stephanie Azzopardi


Describe the relationship between the distribution of hair cells in the organ of Corti and
the detection of sounds of different frequencies
Organ of Corti ribbon-like structure in cochlea
Sound receptor = hair cells
Includes: Basilar membrane hair cells tectorial membrane
Basilar membrane
Have hair cells of different lengths
Vibrations from oval window transmitted through cochlea fluids hair cells vibrate
according to frequency
High frequency sounds cause short hair cells at front of membrane (nearest to oval
window) to vibrate
Low frequency sounds stimulate long hair cells at end of membrane (travel to end)
As basilar membrane vibrates hair cells of organ of Corti pushed against tectorial
membrane hair cells send electrochemical impulse along auditory nerve to brain
Organ of Corti = distinguishes sounds of different frequencies sending pattern to
brain of vibrations
Sends information on intensity and duration of sound
Round window = vibrations stop
Bulges outwards as waves reach it
Process information from secondary sources to outline the range of frequencies detected
by humans as sound and compare this range with two other mammals, discussing
possible reasons for the differences identified
Human frequency range = 20-23000 Hz
Range of frequencies heard varies from species to species

Lowest frequency
detected (Hz)
100 000

Highest frequency
detected (Hz)
23 000
45 000
123 000
120 000

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Reasons for differences:

Very high sounds (used by bats) allow for precise echolocation
Whales need to communicate over large distances low sounds travel long way
Outline the role of the sound shadow cast by the head in the location of sound
Head casts sonic shadow between sound source and furthest ear away from the sound
One ear receives less sound than the other
Humans usually turn head to locate sound
Sound coming from right reaches right ear then blocked by head
To reach left ear sound waves must travel around or through head
Head absorbs high frequencies easily than low ones creates sound shadow for ear
furthest away from sound source
Small difference in perception by each ear brain can interpret direction
When sound comes from in front or behind both ears receive same stimulus

Process information from secondary sources to evaluate a hearing aid and a cochlear
implant in terms of:

Where is the
device placed?

Hearing Aid
Fit into hollow outside ear
canals Pinna
Consists of
Microphone to capture
Amplifier to magnify sounds
Earphone to channel into

Position and type

of energy transfer

Helps in converting sound

energy into electrical energy
Sound waves sent to amplifier
Amplify sounds
Amplified sound waves sent to
sensory hair cells in organ of
Corti convert into electrical

Cochlear Implant
Surgically placed under the skin
behind the ear & Transmitter on

Sound waves microphone &

speech processor
Transmitter Receiver
Cochlear direct to auditory
Energy transfer: Sound energy
electrical energy radio
waves electrical signals

Stephanie Azzopardi

Conditions under
which the
technology will
assist hearing?

Limitations of
each technology

Impulses travel to brain via
auditory nerve


People with sensorineural

hearing loss
Develops when auditory
nerve or hair cells damaged by
aging, noise, illness etc
Recipient must have some

hearing left Can only

amplify sound

Greatly improve
comprehension, speech and
low frequency discrimination

Hair cell damage causes

hearing loss
Hair cells convert sound
energy into electrical energy
that can stimulate auditory
Deaf people
Works best where people lost
their hearing after they learnt to

Limited assistance in high

frequency ranges
Amplification Loud noises =
Batteries may run out BUT
most models give adequate
warning of dying batteries
Do not assist in nerve
deafness caused by damage
to inner ear, auditory nerve or
auditory centre of the brain

Only 80% effective

Risks involved with surgical
insertion of implants
Cost: surgery expensive and
on-going costs
Surgery side-effects: droopy
face and numb tongue
Adjustment to different lifestyle
and sensation of hearing
sounds difficult

7. Signals from the eye and ear are transmitted as electrochemical changes in the membranes of the optic and
auditory nerves
Identify that a nerve is a bundle of neuronal fibres
Perform a first-hand investigation using stained prepared slides and/or electron
micrographs to gather information about the structure of neurones and nerves

Nerve = bundle of axons (neuronal fibres) bound together like wires in a

Neurone = nerve cell
Axons and dendrites bundled together = nerves
Three types of neurones include:

Stephanie Azzopardi


Sensory neurones receive and carry messages to brain and spinal cord
Motor neurones carry messages from CNS to effectors (muscles and
Connector neurones carry messages between sensory neurones and
motor neurones, usually in CNS
Neurone structure: (Motor Neurone)




Receives signal from previous neuron and conducts impulse to cell


Cell body

Largest part contains nucleus, cytoplasm, Golgi body,

endoplasmic reticulum and mitochondria


Extension that conducts impulses away from the cell body to

another neurone or tissue

Myelin sheath

Insulates axon electrical signal transported quicker along neuron

Schwann cell

Make up myelin sheath

Node of Ranvier

Gaps between Schwann cells affects rate of impulse

Axon terminal

Line up next to dendrites of next neuron, or target cells signal

leaves neuron


Gap between axon terminals of one cell and dendrites of next

Identify neurones as nerve cells that are the transmitters of signals by electro-chemical
changes in their membranes
Neurone = nerve cell transmits impulse from one part of neuron to another
Nerve impulse = change in voltage
Impulse transmitted as wave of electrical charges that travel along cell
membrane of neurone

Stephanie Azzopardi


Electrical changes caused as sodium ions move into neurons called

electrochemical impulse
After signal transmitted potassium ions move outside cell restore original
charge of neurone
Electrical change: moving from dendrite to axon terminal
Chemical change: moving from axon terminal to dendrite

Impulse travels through axon

Reaches axon terminals
Releases neurotransmitters
Bind to dendrites
Creates positive charge sends electrical impulse through dendrite and into axon

Membrane resting potential = -70mV

Without electrical impulse going through =

Difference in charge (voltage) between
intracellular and extracellular parts of cell
Potassium can pass in and out freely
Sodium gate closed at -70mW sodium
particles cannot get in from extracellular
Intracellular = more negative charge
Negative protein
Negative phosphate
Positive potassium
Extracellular = less negative charge
Negative chlorine
Positive sodium

Action Potential = -55mV

Membrane resting potential changes to

Allows sodium gate to open sodium
particles enter intracellular
Positive particles repel each other
new positive sodium ions start being
pushed along axon
Propagation: as positive charge moves
through neurone Chain reaction
throughout axon from sodium ion gate to
sodium ion gate
Myelin sheath makes sure positive
particles cant leave transmission
As sodium enters cell, eventually
reaches +50mV sodium gates

close and potassium gates open

Hyperpolarisation: potassium channels
Refractory period: charges return to

Stephanie Azzopardi


Define the term threshold and explain why not all stimuli generate an action potential
Threshold = level of stimulation required to change a resting potential
into an action potential
When neurone fires = all or nothing response level of stimulation either
reaches the threshold and action potential is generated OR it is below
threshold and nothing happens
Action potential occurs at dendrites triggers many potentials along axon as
ion channels open
Stimulus moves in one direction
If stimulus very strong rate of propagation increases
When action potential reaches axon terminals neurotransmitter released
into dendrites of next neurone, binds with receptor molecules stimulates a
new action potential


Stephanie Azzopardi


Present information from secondary sources to graphically represent a typical action




Stephanie Azzopardi


Identify those areas of the cerebrum involved in the perception and interpretation of light
and sound
Left hemisphere: controls right side of body (and vise versa)
Two halves communicate through bundles of nerve fibres that make up the corpus
Frontal lobe contains the Brocas area - SOUND
Controls muscles of speech and articulation of sound
In left side of brain
Temporal lobe - SOUND
Hearing, memory processing & integration of sensory information (hearing & vision)
Includes Wernickes area controls interpretation of language
Parietal lobe - LIGHT
Interpreting writing & used when reading
Occipital lobe LIGHT
Receives and interprets visual information from retinas


Stephanie Azzopardi


Perform a first-hand investigation to examine an appropriate mammalian brain or model of
a human brain to gather information to distinguish the cerebrum, cerebellum and medulla
oblongata and locate the regions involved in speech, sight and sound perception
Aim: To distinguish the cerebrum, cerebellum and medulla oblongata and locate the regions
involved in speech, sight and sound perception
1. Cut sheep brain in half to reveal two hemispheres
2. Locate the:
Highly folded
White matter inner layer grey matter outer layer
Controls conscious thinking, including messages from sensory receptors
Sending messages to receptor organs
Small folds on surface
Behind brain stem
Coordinates posture, movement & balance
Medulla oblongata
Grey matter inner layer white matter outer layer
Upper extension of spinal cord
Controls basic functioning e.g. breathing

Stephanie Azzopardi


Speech: Brocas area (Frontal lobe)
Sight: Occipital lobe
[Light eye optic nerve occipital lobe]
Sound: Wernickes area (Temporal lobe)
[Sound wave auditory canal cochlea auditory nerve temporal lobe]
Risk assessment:
Take special care when using scalpels very sharp
Dont leave close to edge of bench
Dispose carefully in sharps container
Wear gloves
Clean dissecting equipment with warm soapy water
Dispose of animal material carefully
Wash hands thoroughly
Explain using specific examples, the importance of correct interpretation of sensory
signals by the brain for the coordination of animal behaviour
Behaviour: animals are active in response to signals from their surroundings
Detection of stimuli by sensory receptors
Transmission of information through nervous system
Correct interpretation of signals by brain to coordinate behaviour
Depends on complexity of nervous system & genetic inheritance
Inherited genetically through organisation of nervous system
Occurs automatically in response to stimulus
Result of experience
Requires nervous system where info can be stored and retrieved
Response specific to circumstances
Environmental conditions will always influence behaviour
Stable: behaviours are inherited and predictable

Stephanie Azzopardi


Unstable: behaviours based on learning and unpredictable

Insight learning: problem solved as a result of thinking about it
o Requires complex brain, ability to process a lot of information and coordinate
a response
o Only humans and some birds can do this
Complex nervous system we can learn and communicate effectively
Importance of correct brain interpretation coordinate behaviour basis of our everyday
Eyes, ears, muscles, feet all have sensory receptors to determine position of body
Normal day functions such as walking we need coordination between receptors and brain
When things go wrong
The importance of correct interpretation of sensory signals by the brain for
the coordination of animal behaviour is highlighted when something goes


Effect on interpretation of signals

Multiple sclerosis

Cerebral palsy


Autoimmune attack on myelin sheath of nerve cells

Myelin sheaths in CNS destroyed become hard
substances called scleroses
Impulses not functional and dont work no insulation =
no conduction of impulse through axon
Neuromuscular damage muscles lack coordination due
to brain cell damage
Brain cells unable to transmit messages to muscles
Muscles cannot be controlled
Genetic disorder causes tumours to grow along nerves
NF1: learning difficulties CNS not being able to walk
NF2: hearing loss CNS

Reference List

Structure and function of the eye, rods and cones. [Image] (2014) Retrieved
June 30, 2015, from
Fireworks! [Image] (n.d.) Retrieved July 1, 2015, from

Stephanie Azzopardi


Identify the limited range of wavelengths of the electromagnetic spectrum

detected by humans and compare this range with those of other vertebrates
and invertebrates. [Image] (n.d.) Retrieved July 1, 2015, from
What is Refraction? [Image] (n.d.) Retrieved July 1, 2015, from
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2015, from
Accommodation. [Image] (2014) Retrieved July 1, 2015, from
6 Most Colourful Towns and Cities of Europe. [image] (2014) Retrieved July 1,
2015, from
The eye of a person with myopia is longer than normal. [Image] (n.d.)
Retrieved July 1, 2015, from
A cataract is an opacity, or clouding, of the lens of the eye. [Image] (n.d.)
Retrieved July 1, 2015, from
How do I know if I have cataracts? [Image] (n.d.) Retrieved July 1, 2015, from
Rods and Cones Initiate Nerve Impulses. [Image] (n.d.) Retrieved July 1, 2015,
OHHS AP Biology Chapter 50 Presentation. [Image] (2010) Retrieved July 1,
2015, from
Rods and cones of the human eye. [Image] (n.d.) Retrieved July 1, 2015, from
Amplitude, wavelength and frequency. [Image] (n.d.) Retrieved July 1, 2015,
Moss Landing Marine Laboratory. [Image] (n.d.) Retrieved July 1, 2015, from
Hearing: Gross Anatomy of the Ear Frontal Section. [Image] (n.d.) Retrieved
July 1, 2015, from
Outline the path of a sound wave through the external, middle and inner ear
and identify the energy transformations that occur. [Image] (n.d.) Retrieved
July 1, 2015, from

Stephanie Azzopardi

Neuron Structure. [Image] (2008) Retrieved July 1, 2015, from
Diagram of a Synapse. [Image] (n.d.) Retrieved July 1, 2015, from
The Synapse. [Image] (n.d.) Retrieved July 1, 2015, from
Figure 12.24. Stages of an Action Potential. [Image] (n.d.) Retrieved July 1,
2015, from
Action Potential. [Image] (n.d.) Retrieved July 1, 2015, from
Internal Structures of the Brain. [Image] (2007) Retrieved July 1, 2015, from
Distinguish the cerebrum, cerebellum and medulla oblongata. [Image] (n.d.)
Retrieved July 1, 2015, from