tympanic membrane

tympanic membrane

The tympanic membrane is the scientific term for what most know simply as the eardrum. This structure in the ear is responsible for initially converting sound waves into vibrations so they can travel through the ear before the brain receives the stimulus as neural impulses. This occurs after sound is initially collected and focused toward the tympanic membrane by the pinna. Sensory-echoic information (hearing) is processed by the thalamus before signals are routed to the cortex in the brain for the purpose of perception. Once these vibrations start to make their way through the ear, they are detected and processed by the cochlea. Interestingly enough, the semi-circular canals are one other structure. These fluid filled passageways are responsible for maintaining the body's sense of balance

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