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The Hearing Mechanism: A Guide for Laymen

  • Keijiro Koga

Abstract

Can you hear a whispered voice? Can you hear different types of sound, such as a conversation or music? Everyone with normal ears should answer, “Yes, I can hear these sounds”. Nevertheless, since 1837, science has tried to answer two important questions: how do human ears allow us to hear faint sounds, such as a whispered voice, and how do they allow us to hear sounds at various frequencies? The famous German scientist Helmholtz [1] (1821–1894) attempted to answer these two questions by examining the sensitivity of the ear and its analysis of sound. The human ear consists of the outer, middle, and inner ears (Fig.1). The middle ear plays an important role in the sensitivity of the ear, while the inner ear analyzes sound.

Keywords

Hair Cell Basilar Membrane Cochlear Nucleus Sound Signal Sound Frequency 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.

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Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Tokyo 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Keijiro Koga
    • 1
  1. 1.ENT DepartmentNational Children’s HospitalTokyoJapan

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