The Cochlea

Volume 8 of the series Springer Handbook of Auditory Research pp 44-129

Structure of the Mammalian Cochlea

  • Norma B. Slepecky

* Final gross prices may vary according to local VAT.

Get Access


The cochlea within the inner ear contains the cells responsible for the perception of sound. Unfortunately for researchers, the structures of interest are housed in a rather inaccessible part of the skull, totally embedded in bone. In spite of this, the anatomy was well described in the mid-nineteenth century by Retzius, Huschke, Reissner, Kolliker, Deiters, Hensen, and Corti, names familiar even to present-day cochlear anatomists. From their studies, it was known that the cochlea is composed of a bony labyrinth, within which is found the cellular structures comprising the membranous labyrinth. These are easily seen in a section taken through the cochlea in a plane parallel to its long axis (Fig. 2.1).