The cochlea, a small conical structure, is the part of the inner ear that converts mechanical energy (vibrations) into nerve impulses sent to the brain. It is also known as the organ of hearing. The word cochlea is a Latin word derived from the Greek kokhlos, which refers to the land snail. A coiled tube, the cochlea winds around a central axis, forming the anterior part of the labyrinth. It contains the organ of Corti, which includes the hair cells that constitute the primary mechanisms by which pressure waves in the cochlea are transduced into bioelectrical nerve impulses. The acoustic division of the eighth cranial nerve has its cell bodies in the spiral ganglion of the cochlea.
References and Readings
- Ropper, A. H., & Brown, R. J. (2005). Deafness, dizziness, and disorders of equilibrium. In Adams and Victor’s principles of neurology. New York: McGraw-Hill.Google Scholar