The University of Southampton

Main parts of the ear

Cochlear implants are suitable for patients with a severe to profound sensorineural hearing loss, but what does that mean?  To understand this we first need to describe the anatomy of the ear. The ear has three main parts: the outer ear, the middle ear and the inner ear. Click on the sections below to find out more about each part;

The Outer Ear (Pinna and Ear Canal)
The Middle Ear (Tympanic Membrane and Ossicular Chain)
The Inner Ear


Inner hair cells in the cochlea

As mentioned above, hair cells change sound vibrations into electrical signals that are sent to the brain via the hearing nerve. The link to the video below is a demonstration of a hair cell being stimulated by music.  Click on the link to watch the video.


Key Concepts