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Hearing Mechanisms, Internal

  • By: Rhea U. Vallente
  • In: The SAGE Deaf Studies Encyclopedia
  • Edited by: Genie Gertz & Patrick Boudreault
  • Subject:Physical Disabilities, Otorhinolaryngology (Ears, Nose, & Throat)

The ear is a highly sensitive organ that processes sounds at various frequencies between 20 Hz and 20,000 Hz. This sensory organ can also tolerate noises of extremely high intensity for a limited time of exposure. It is specifically sensitive to sounds that range from 500 to 4,000 Hz, which is considered as essential for speech processing. In order to experience average hearing, a number of mechanisms involving different components of the ear are required to function, resulting in the conversion of physical vibrations into electric signals that are recognized by the brain. The ear is subdivided into three regions, namely, the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. The outer ear and middle ear are responsible for conducting sound, whereas the inner ...

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