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ZingPath: Human Body Systems

Hear with the Ear

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Lesson Focus

Hear with the Ear


Learning Made Easy

Students learn the functions and parts of the ear as described and explained by using a 3-D model of an ear.

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Now You Know

After completing this tutorial, you will be able to complete the following:

  • Identify that sound waves are vibrations that move in all directions and are emitted from objects.
  • Identify the parts of an ear: pinna, auditory canal, eardrum, ear bones, cochlea, and nerves.
  • Describe the functions of the parts of the ear: pinna, auditory canal, eardrum, ear bones, cochlea, and nerves.

Everything You'll Have Covered

The ear is the main organ of the auditory system that is mostly used to detect sound. The ear not only acts as a receiver of sound, but it also plays a major role in balance.

Humans and many other species have pairs of ears that are placed symmetrically on opposite sides of their head to help locate the source of emitted sounds. In humans, the outer ear is shaped like a funnel or cone in order to collect sounds as vibrations and direct them into the middle ear, which then sends the information to the brain to perceive as sound.

The ear has three main sections, the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. Each part of the ear has a specific function in the task of detecting and interpreting sound. As previously mentioned, the outer ear collects and channels sound to the eardrum and middle ear. The middle ear is an air-filled cavity that consists of the eardrum and three tiny bones (anvil, hammer, and stirrup). These tiny bones amplify the vibrations of the sound and move it toward the inner ear. The inner ear consists of the cochlea, the semicircular canals, and the auditory nerve. The cochlea is filled with liquid and has tiny hair-like nerve cells that help the vibrations move to the auditory nerve. Once the vibrations reach the auditory nerve, an electric signal is sent to the brain identifying it as sound.

Tutorial Details

Approximate Time 20 Minutes
Pre-requisite Concepts ear
Course Biology
Type of Tutorial Concept Development
Key Vocabulary auditory canal, bones, cochlea