Cochlea: The part of the inner ear (LABYRINTH) that is concerned with hearing. It forms the anterior part of the labyrinth, as a snail-like structure that is situated almost horizontally anterior to the VESTIBULAR LABYRINTH.Hair Cells, Auditory: Sensory cells in the organ of Corti, characterized by their apical stereocilia (hair-like projections). The inner and outer hair cells, as defined by their proximity to the core of spongy bone (the modiolus), change morphologically along the COCHLEA. Towards the cochlear apex, the length of hair cell bodies and their apical STEREOCILIA increase, allowing differential responses to various frequencies of sound.Organ of Corti: The spiral EPITHELIUM containing sensory AUDITORY HAIR CELLS and supporting cells in the cochlea. Organ of Corti, situated on the BASILAR MEMBRANE and overlaid by a gelatinous TECTORIAL MEMBRANE, converts sound-induced mechanical waves to neural impulses to the brain.Spiral Ganglion: The sensory ganglion of the COCHLEAR NERVE. The cells of the spiral ganglion send fibers peripherally to the cochlear hair cells and centrally to the COCHLEAR NUCLEI of the BRAIN STEM.Cochlear Diseases: Pathological processes of the snail-like structure (COCHLEA) of the inner ear (LABYRINTH) which can involve its nervous tissue, blood vessels, or fluid (ENDOLYMPH).Hair Cells, Auditory, Inner: Auditory sensory cells of organ of Corti, usually placed in one row medially to the core of spongy bone (the modiolus). Inner hair cells are in fewer numbers than the OUTER AUDITORY HAIR CELLS, and their STEREOCILIA are approximately twice as thick as those of the outer hair cells.Hair Cells, Auditory, Outer: Sensory cells of organ of Corti. In mammals, they are usually arranged in three or four rows, and away from the core of spongy bone (the modiolus), lateral to the INNER AUDITORY HAIR CELLS and other supporting structures. Their cell bodies and STEREOCILIA increase in length from the cochlear base toward the apex and laterally across the rows, allowing differential responses to various frequencies of sound.Spiral Ligament of Cochlea: A spiral thickening of the fibrous lining of the cochlear wall. Spiral ligament secures the membranous COCHLEAR DUCT to the bony spiral canal of the COCHLEA. Its spiral ligament fibrocytes function in conjunction with the STRIA VASCULARIS to mediate cochlear ion homeostasis.Hearing: The ability or act of sensing and transducing ACOUSTIC STIMULATION to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. It is also called audition.Ear, Inner: The essential part of the hearing organ consists of two labyrinthine compartments: the bony labyrinthine and the membranous labyrinth. The bony labyrinth is a complex of three interconnecting cavities or spaces (COCHLEA; VESTIBULAR LABYRINTH; and SEMICIRCULAR CANALS) in the TEMPORAL BONE. Within the bony labyrinth lies the membranous labyrinth which is a complex of sacs and tubules (COCHLEAR DUCT; SACCULE AND UTRICLE; and SEMICIRCULAR DUCTS) forming a continuous space enclosed by EPITHELIUM and connective tissue. These spaces are filled with LABYRINTHINE FLUIDS of various compositions.Labyrinth Supporting Cells: Cells forming a framework supporting the sensory AUDITORY HAIR CELLS in the organ of Corti. Lateral to the medial inner hair cells, there are inner pillar cells, outer pillar cells, Deiters cells, Hensens cells, Claudius cells, Boettchers cells, and others.Evoked Potentials, Auditory, Brain Stem: Electrical waves in the CEREBRAL CORTEX generated by BRAIN STEM structures in response to auditory click stimuli. These are found to be abnormal in many patients with CEREBELLOPONTINE ANGLE lesions, MULTIPLE SCLEROSIS, or other DEMYELINATING DISEASES.Stria Vascularis: A layer of stratified EPITHELIUM forming the endolymphatic border of the cochlear duct at the lateral wall of the cochlea. Stria vascularis contains primarily three cell types (marginal, intermediate, and basal), and capillaries. The marginal cells directly facing the ENDOLYMPH are important in producing ion gradients and endochoclear potential.Cochlear Nerve: The cochlear part of the 8th cranial nerve (VESTIBULOCOCHLEAR NERVE). The cochlear nerve fibers originate from neurons of the SPIRAL GANGLION and project peripherally to cochlear hair cells and centrally to the cochlear nuclei (COCHLEAR NUCLEUS) of the BRAIN STEM. They mediate the sense of hearing.Round Window, Ear: Fenestra of the cochlea, an opening in the basal wall between the MIDDLE EAR and the INNER EAR, leading to the cochlea. It is closed by a secondary tympanic membrane.Cochlear Microphonic Potentials: The electric response of the cochlear hair cells to acoustic stimulation.Deafness: A general term for the complete loss of the ability to hear from both ears.Perilymph: The fluid separating the membranous labyrinth from the osseous labyrinth of the ear. It is entirely separate from the ENDOLYMPH which is contained in the membranous labyrinth. (From McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed, p1396, 642)Endolymph: The lymph fluid found in the membranous labyrinth of the ear. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 4th ed)Stapes: One of the three ossicles of the middle ear. It transmits sound vibrations from the INCUS to the internal ear (Ear, Internal see LABYRINTH).Otoacoustic Emissions, Spontaneous: Self-generated faint acoustic signals from the inner ear (COCHLEA) without external stimulation. These faint signals can be recorded in the EAR CANAL and are indications of active OUTER AUDITORY HAIR CELLS. Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions are found in all classes of land vertebrates.Tectorial Membrane: A membrane, attached to the bony SPIRAL LAMINA, overlying and coupling with the hair cells of the ORGAN OF CORTI in the inner ear. It is a glycoprotein-rich keratin-like layer containing fibrils embedded in a dense amorphous substance.Scala Tympani: The lower chamber of the COCHLEA, extending from the round window to the helicotrema (the opening at the apex that connects the PERILYMPH-filled spaces of scala tympani and SCALA VESTIBULI).Hearing Loss: A general term for the complete or partial loss of the ability to hear from one or both ears.Hearing Loss, Noise-Induced: Hearing loss due to exposure to explosive loud noise or chronic exposure to sound level greater than 85 dB. The hearing loss is often in the frequency range 4000-6000 hertz.Cochlear Duct: A spiral tube that is firmly suspended in the bony shell-shaped part of the cochlea. This ENDOLYMPH-filled cochlear duct begins at the vestibule and makes 2.5 turns around a core of spongy bone (the modiolus) thus dividing the PERILYMPH-filled spiral canal into two channels, the SCALA VESTIBULI and the SCALA TYMPANI.Auditory Threshold: The audibility limit of discriminating sound intensity and pitch.Temporal Bone: Either of a pair of compound bones forming the lateral (left and right) surfaces and base of the skull which contains the organs of hearing. It is a large bone formed by the fusion of parts: the squamous (the flattened anterior-superior part), the tympanic (the curved anterior-inferior part), the mastoid (the irregular posterior portion), and the petrous (the part at the base of the skull).Chinchilla: A genus of the family Chinchillidae which consists of three species: C. brevicaudata, C. lanigera, and C. villidera. They are used extensively in biomedical research.Acoustic Stimulation: Use of sound to elicit a response in the nervous system.Hearing Loss, Sensorineural: Hearing loss resulting from damage to the COCHLEA and the sensorineural elements which lie internally beyond the oval and round windows. These elements include the AUDITORY NERVE and its connections in the BRAINSTEM.Gerbillinae: A subfamily of the Muridae consisting of several genera including Gerbillus, Rhombomys, Tatera, Meriones, and Psammomys.Guinea Pigs: A common name used for the genus Cavia. The most common species is Cavia porcellus which is the domesticated guinea pig used for pets and biomedical research.Cochlear Implantation: Surgical insertion of an electronic hearing device (COCHLEAR IMPLANTS) with electrodes to the COCHLEAR NERVE in the inner ear to create sound sensation in patients with residual nerve fibers.Tympanic Membrane: An oval semitransparent membrane separating the external EAR CANAL from the tympanic cavity (EAR, MIDDLE). It contains three layers: the skin of the external ear canal; the core of radially and circularly arranged collagen fibers; and the MUCOSA of the middle ear.Noise: Any sound which is unwanted or interferes with HEARING other sounds.Vestibulocochlear Nerve: The 8th cranial nerve. The vestibulocochlear nerve has a cochlear part (COCHLEAR NERVE) which is concerned with hearing and a vestibular part (VESTIBULAR NERVE) which mediates the sense of balance and head position. The fibers of the cochlear nerve originate from neurons of the SPIRAL GANGLION and project to the cochlear nuclei (COCHLEAR NUCLEUS). The fibers of the vestibular nerve arise from neurons of Scarpa's ganglion and project to the VESTIBULAR NUCLEI.Cochlear Implants: Electronic hearing devices typically used for patients with normal outer and middle ear function, but defective inner ear function. In the COCHLEA, the hair cells (HAIR CELLS, VESTIBULAR) may be absent or damaged but there are residual nerve fibers. The device electrically stimulates the COCHLEAR NERVE to create sound sensation.Ear, Middle: The space and structures directly internal to the TYMPANIC MEMBRANE and external to the inner ear (LABYRINTH). Its major components include the AUDITORY OSSICLES and the EUSTACHIAN TUBE that connects the cavity of middle ear (tympanic cavity) to the upper part of the throat.Ear Canal: The narrow passage way that conducts the sound collected by the EAR AURICLE to the TYMPANIC MEMBRANE.Presbycusis: Gradual bilateral hearing loss associated with aging that is due to progressive degeneration of cochlear structures and central auditory pathways. Hearing loss usually begins with the high frequencies then progresses to sounds of middle and low frequencies.Auditory Pathways: NEURAL PATHWAYS and connections within the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM, beginning at the hair cells of the ORGAN OF CORTI, continuing along the eighth cranial nerve, and terminating at the AUDITORY CORTEX.Labyrinthine Fluids: Fluids found within the osseous labyrinth (PERILYMPH) and the membranous labyrinth (ENDOLYMPH) of the inner ear. (From Gray's Anatomy, 30th American ed, p1328, 1332)Vestibule, Labyrinth: An oval, bony chamber of the inner ear, part of the bony labyrinth. It is continuous with bony COCHLEA anteriorly, and SEMICIRCULAR CANALS posteriorly. The vestibule contains two communicating sacs (utricle and saccule) of the balancing apparatus. The oval window on its lateral wall is occupied by the base of the STAPES of the MIDDLE EAR.Neurons, Efferent: Neurons which send impulses peripherally to activate muscles or secretory cells.Evoked Potentials, Auditory: The electric response evoked in the CEREBRAL CORTEX by ACOUSTIC STIMULATION or stimulation of the AUDITORY PATHWAYS.Sound: A type of non-ionizing radiation in which energy is transmitted through solid, liquid, or gas as compression waves. Sound (acoustic or sonic) radiation with frequencies above the audible range is classified as ultrasonic. Sound radiation below the audible range is classified as infrasonic.Endolymphatic Hydrops: An accumulation of ENDOLYMPH in the inner ear (LABYRINTH) leading to buildup of pressure and distortion of intralabyrinthine structures, such as COCHLEA and SEMICIRCULAR CANALS. It is characterized by SENSORINEURAL HEARING LOSS; TINNITUS; and sometimes VERTIGO.Cochlear Nucleus: The brain stem nucleus that receives the central input from the cochlear nerve. The cochlear nucleus is located lateral and dorsolateral to the inferior cerebellar peduncles and is functionally divided into dorsal and ventral parts. It is tonotopically organized, performs the first stage of central auditory processing, and projects (directly or indirectly) to higher auditory areas including the superior olivary nuclei, the medial geniculi, the inferior colliculi, and the auditory cortex.Petrous Bone: The dense rock-like part of temporal bone that contains the INNER EAR. Petrous bone is located at the base of the skull. Sometimes it is combined with the MASTOID PROCESS and called petromastoid part of temporal bone.Otologic Surgical Procedures: Surgery performed on the external, middle, or internal ear.Ear Ossicles: A mobile chain of three small bones (INCUS; MALLEUS; STAPES) in the TYMPANIC CAVITY between the TYMPANIC MEMBRANE and the oval window on the wall of INNER EAR. Sound waves are converted to vibration by the tympanic membrane then transmitted via these ear ossicles to the inner ear.Labyrinth Diseases: Pathological processes of the inner ear (LABYRINTH) which contains the essential apparatus of hearing (COCHLEA) and balance (SEMICIRCULAR CANALS).Mechanotransduction, Cellular: The process by which cells convert mechanical stimuli into a chemical response. It can occur in both cells specialized for sensing mechanical cues such as MECHANORECEPTORS, and in parenchymal cells whose primary function is not mechanosensory.Mice, Inbred CBAEfferent Pathways: Nerve structures through which impulses are conducted from a nerve center toward a peripheral site. Such impulses are conducted via efferent neurons (NEURONS, EFFERENT), such as MOTOR NEURONS, autonomic neurons, and hypophyseal neurons.Vibration: A continuing periodic change in displacement with respect to a fixed reference. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)Acoustics: The branch of physics that deals with sound and sound waves. In medicine it is often applied in procedures in speech and hearing studies. With regard to the environment, it refers to the characteristics of a room, auditorium, theatre, building, etc. that determines the audibility or fidelity of sounds in it. (From Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed)Hearing Disorders: Conditions that impair the transmission of auditory impulses and information from the level of the ear to the temporal cortices, including the sensorineural pathways.Vestibulocochlear Nerve Diseases: Pathological processes of the VESTIBULOCOCHLEAR NERVE, including the branches of COCHLEAR NERVE and VESTIBULAR NERVE. Common examples are VESTIBULAR NEURITIS, cochlear neuritis, and ACOUSTIC NEUROMA. Clinical signs are varying degree of HEARING LOSS; VERTIGO; and TINNITUS.Meniere Disease: A disease of the inner ear (LABYRINTH) that is characterized by fluctuating SENSORINEURAL HEARING LOSS; TINNITUS; episodic VERTIGO; and aural fullness. It is the most common form of endolymphatic hydrops.Ear: The hearing and equilibrium system of the body. It consists of three parts: the EXTERNAL EAR, the MIDDLE EAR, and the INNER EAR. Sound waves are transmitted through this organ where vibration is transduced to nerve signals that pass through the ACOUSTIC NERVE to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. The inner ear also contains the vestibular organ that maintains equilibrium by transducing signals to the VESTIBULAR NERVE.Saccule and Utricle: Two membranous sacs within the vestibular labyrinth of the INNER EAR. The saccule communicates with COCHLEAR DUCT through the ductus reuniens, and communicates with utricle through the utriculosaccular duct from which the ENDOLYMPHATIC DUCT arises. The utricle and saccule have sensory areas (acoustic maculae) which are innervated by the VESTIBULAR NERVE.Animals, Newborn: Refers to animals in the period of time just after birth.Audiometry: The testing of the acuity of the sense of hearing to determine the thresholds of the lowest intensity levels at which an individual can hear a set of tones. The frequencies between 125 and 8000 Hz are used to test air conduction thresholds and the frequencies between 250 and 4000 Hz are used to test bone conduction thresholds.Interferometry: Measurement of distances or movements by means of the phenomena caused by the interference of two rays of light (optical interferometry) or of sound (acoustic interferometry).Audiometry, Pure-Tone: Measurement of hearing based on the use of pure tones of various frequencies and intensities as auditory stimuli.Anatomy, Regional: The anatomical study of specific regions or parts of organisms, emphasizing the relationship between the various structures (e.g. muscles, nerves, skeletal, cardiovascular, etc.).Kanamycin: Antibiotic complex produced by Streptomyces kanamyceticus from Japanese soil. Comprises 3 components: kanamycin A, the major component, and kanamycins B and C, the minor components.Hearing Tests: Part of an ear examination that measures the ability of sound to reach the brain.Endolymphatic Sac: The blind pouch at the end of the endolymphatic duct. It is a storage reservoir for excess ENDOLYMPH, formed by the blood vessels in the membranous labyrinth.Inferior Colliculi: The posterior pair of the quadrigeminal bodies which contain centers for auditory function.Olivary Nucleus: A part of the MEDULLA OBLONGATA situated in the olivary body. It is involved with motor control and is a major source of sensory input to the CEREBELLUM.Stereocilia: Mechanosensing organelles of hair cells which respond to fluid motion or fluid pressure changes. They have various functions in many different animals, but are primarily used in hearing.Tinnitus: A nonspecific symptom of hearing disorder characterized by the sensation of buzzing, ringing, clicking, pulsations, and other noises in the ear. Objective tinnitus refers to noises generated from within the ear or adjacent structures that can be heard by other individuals. The term subjective tinnitus is used when the sound is audible only to the affected individual. Tinnitus may occur as a manifestation of COCHLEAR DISEASES; VESTIBULOCOCHLEAR NERVE DISEASES; INTRACRANIAL HYPERTENSION; CRANIOCEREBRAL TRAUMA; and other conditions.

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