The wonder of hearing

The human ear is a highly skilled organ allowing us to enjoy life’s brilliant sounds. Take a look at how the ear supports us in navigating the world safely.

The ear is an amazing organ that performs the highly complex task of hearing. Healthy human ears can distinguish between 7,000 different pitches and enable the brain to pinpoint a sound’s source. Nature has equipped our ears to process a huge range of sounds, from low tones like a cat’s purr to high tones like birdsong and every nuance in between – even the emotion of a whispered “I love you.”

So how do our ears perform this incredible task? Put simply, the human ear consists of three parts – the outer, middle, and inner ear. The outer ear picks up sound and transmits it to the eardrum via the ear canal. In the middle ear, sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate. The vibrations pass on to the inner ear, where the cochlea translates them into electrical signals that travel to the brain via the auditory nerve.

The following video demonstrates how hearing works.