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The Auditory System 

The Auditory System
Chapter:
The Auditory System
Author(s):

Per Brodal

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190228958.003.0017
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date: 02 March 2021

Chapter 17 deals with the sense of hearing. Sound waves pass through the air to the tympanic membrane, which transmits them via a chain of three tiny bones to the cochlea. The hair cells of the cochlea are low-threshold mechanoreceptors sensitive to the bending of stereocilia on their surface. From the cochlea, the signals are conducted to the cochlear nuclei in the brain stem through the vestibulocochlear nerve. From the cochlear nuclei, the auditory pathways carry signals to the inferior colliculus and from there to the medial geniculate body and finally to the primary auditory area (A1). Further processing of auditory information takes place in cortical areas surrounding A1 in the temporal lobe. Outward connections from these areas ensure integration of auditory information with other sensory modalities. Nuclei in the brain stem receiving signals from both are crucial for the ability to localize sounds.

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