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Anatomy of the Hearing Mechanism and Central Audiology Nervous System

The human auditory mechanism is exquisite and unique among human sensory systems. The auditory system can be divided into peripheral and central components, with the peripheral auditory system being composed of the outer, middle, and inner ears. The central auditory component consists of the elements of the auditory nervous system deep to the sensory apparatus itself. This entry first describes the components of the peripheral auditory system and then discusses the components of the auditory pathway.

Peripheral Auditory System

The peripheral auditory mechanism consists of three components: the outer ear, the middle ear (ME), and the inner ear.

Outer Ear

The outer ear consists of the pinna (auricle) and the external auditory meatus (EAM or ear canal; see Figure 1). The pinna (also known as the auricle; see Figure ...

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