Aural History | The Scientist Magazine® PITCH PERFECT: The hearing organs of amniotes are organized tonotopically, with hair cells sensitive to high frequencies at the basal end of the papilla, grading into low-frequency hair cells at the apical end
ve you ever heard of Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo (BPPV), or know someone suffering from it? BPPV, a form of vertigo, is thought to cause dizziness from debris that builds up in the inner ear (utricle). This debris is referred to by some as “ear rocks” or otoconia.
The science behind hearing loss The cochlea in our inner ear contains 15,000 tiny, hair-like structures called “stereocilia”, or hair cells. There are two types: auditory and vestibular, responsible for hearing and balance respectively. Auditory hair cells function by bending in response to sound, and their movements are transmitted as electrical signals to the brain, which interprets them as sound. When these hair cells are damaged or killed, it can cause permanent hearing loss—and although…
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