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Auditory Processing Essay

981 words - 4 pages

Our senses are very unique. They come from the energies contained in the information about the world. An accessory structure modifies the energy and a receptor transduces the energy into a neural response. The sensory nerves transfer the coded activity to the central nervous system, while the thalamus processes and then relays the neural responses. Lastly, the cerebral cortex receives input and produces the sensation and perception from the brain.
Energy in the auditory system contains information about the world. This energy has a stimulus which comes from sound waves like ripples on a pond. The type of energy that this is, is mechanical energy. The vibrations cause changes in pressure of ...view middle of the document...

The eardrum, in the outer ear, is a thin, fibrous membrane that can be easily damaged. It vibrates in resonance to sound waves coming through the external auditory canal, and is the ear’s only defense against damaging. The ossicles in the middle ear made up of three bones, the mallus, incus, and stapes. These bones receive and deliver vibrations and can decrease amplification to protect the ear against very intense sounds. In addition to these bones, the middle ear consists of the tensor tympani muscle, the tympanic membrane, stapedius muscle, round window, and the base of the stapes in oval window. The cochlea in the inner ear, are made up of three canals called, scala vestibule (upper), scala media (central; cochlear canal), and scala tympani (lower), and two membranes reissner’s membrane between the vestibular and cochlear and the basilar membrane between the tympanic and cochlear. The organ of the corti is also in the inner ear and is structured on the basilar membrane covered by the tectorial membrane. It contains columns of hair cells (3500 in the inner and 20,000 in the outer), each having 100 cilia which are the sensory receptors for audition. The organ of corti and the cochlea are organized tonotopically so the similar frequencies are represented in adjacent neural areas. The higher frequencies are closer to stapes and therefore can be stimulated directly by bone conduction. Cochlear implants are even seen as a modern medical miracle!
The sensory nerves transfer the coded activity to the central nervous system (CNS). There are two theories of auditory coding for pitch. The first is the place theory of pitch perception by von Helmholtz revised by von Bekesy. They theorized that there are different regions of basilar membrane that are stimulated by the sounds of different pitches. Von Bekesy revised the “traveling wave form” which is the point of maximal stimulation that is determined by frequency. The problem with theory is it...

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