Activity 3: Microscopic Anatomy of the Spiral Organ and the Mechanism of Hearing

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1

In the spiral organ, what are the auditory receptors?

Hair cells

2

Hair cells rest on what membrane?

Basilar membrane

3

The basilar membrane forms what part of the cochlear duct?

Floor of the cochlear duct

4

The “hairs” in the hair cells of spiral organ are specifically called what?

Stereocilia

5

The stereocilia project into what gelatinous membrane?

Tectorial membrane

6

The roof of the cochlear duct is formed by what membrane?

Vestibular membrane

7

What is the fluid-filled chamber of the cochlear duct?

Scala media

8

Describe how the mechanism of hearing begins?

  1. Sound waves...
  2. Vibration...
  3. The vibration...
  4. The waves...
    1. High-frequency waves...
    2. Low-frequency waves...
  5. The stimulated hair cells...
  1. Sound waves pass through the external acoustic meatus, the middle ear, and into the internal ear.
  2. Vibration of sound waves of the stapes at the oval window creates pressure waves in the perilymph of the scala vestibule.
  3. The vibration are transferred to the endolymph of the cochlear duct (scala media).
  4. The waves in the cochlear duct or scala media displace the basilar membrane and bend the stereocilia of the hair cells.
    1. High-frequency waves (high-pitched sounds) displace the basilar membrane near the base, where the hair cells are short and stiff.
    2. Low-frequency waves (low-pitched sounds) displace the basilar membrane near the apex, where the hair cells are long and flexible.
  5. The stimulated hair cells depolarize and transmit nerve impulses that travel along the cochlear nerve to the auditory centers of the temporal lobe cortex.
9

Sensorineural deafness results from damage to what type of structures?

Neural structures

10

The damaged neural structures in sensorineural deafness are found between what range of 2 cell types?

Damage to neural structures from the cochlear hair cells to the neurons of the auditory cortex.

11

What is presbycusis, and what age group does it target usually?

A type of sensorineural deafness that occurs commonly in people in their 60s

12

How does presbycusis come about?

From a gradual deterioration of the spiral organ

13

Presbycusis leads to what 2 losses?

  1. Loss in the ability to hear high tones
  2. Loss in the ability to hear speech sounds
14

Why is presbycusis becoming more common in younger people?

Young people, nowadays, are more exposed to prolonged or excessive noise.

15

How does prolonged or excessive noise affect the stereocilia of the hair cells?

Tears the stereocilia of the hair cells gradually.

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