Hello, again. In this section we are going to have a closer look on our auditory system, so as to understand its basic function. Why should we learn about that? Because as listeners, we owe to know some basic things about this magnificent human mechanism. Our auditory system is one of our ‘gates’ to the outer world. It helps us pick up sound stimuli from our environment, transduce these stimuli into neural impulses and finally, carry these impulses to specific locations in the brain. In fact, its basic function, if we could summarize that, is the transduction of mechanical energy (that is, those sound vibrations in the air) into electrical energy (electrical pulses in the brain).
Now… When we say ‘mechanical energy’ we mean a sound wave…show more content… This pinna is more or less oval shaped, flexible and can vary in size. Due to the fact that there are only few muscles in the area of the external ear, humans need to turn their heads towards the sound source location, in order to achieve a more accurate detection of the position of this sound source. As far as the middle ear is concerned, its purpose is to transform the energy of a sound wave into internal vibrations, which take place in the bone structure of the middle ear and ultimately transform these vibrations into a compressional wave, which will be received by the inner ear. The middle ear could be described as an air-filled cavity that consists of the eardrum and 3 tiny interconnected bones (in fact, they’re the smallest bones of our body), the well-known the hammer, anvil, and stirrup, which serve to amplify the vibrations. What actually happens there, is that the compression of the sound wave forces the eardrum inward, while a rarefaction forces the eardrum outward, thus vibrating the eardrum at the same frequency of the sound wave. After the eardrum’s vibrations are passed through the middle ear bones, they go on to the cochlea. Basically, the movements of the eardrum are connected to the hammer and as a result, those movements set the hammer, anvil and stirrup in motion, at the same frequency of the sound wave, as we said