Sound consists of vibrations of the air (known as sound waves). The ear is able to pick up these vibrations and convert them into electrical signals that are sent to the brain. The ear consists of three parts: the outer ear, middle ear and inner ear.
The sound waves cause the eardrum to vibrate. This vibration is passed on to the middle ear, which consists of three small bones called the “ossicles”, which amplify and conduct the vibrations of the ear drum to the inner ear.
The inner ear consists of an organ called the cochlea, which is shaped like a snails shell. The cochlea contains tiny cells called hair cells which move in response to the vibrations passed from the ossicles. The movement of these hair cells generates an electrical signal that is transmitted to the brain through the auditory nerve. In the brain, these signals are translated into meaningful information, such as language or music with qualities like volume and pitch.