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).
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