The third and innermost part of the ear which analyzes incoming sound into its component frequencies and produces neural impulses which are carried by the auditory nerve to the brain. HEARING LOSS in the inner ear is usually permanent.
See: PRESBYCUSIS, SENSORY-NEURAL HEARING LOSS. Compare: TRANSDUCER.
The inner ear consists of the COCHLEA and SEMICIRCULAR CANALS, embedded in the hardest bones of the head, and which contain the cochlear fluid, the BASILAR MEMBRANE and ORGAN OF CORTI, as shown in the diagrams under COCHLEA and EAR.
See also: BONE CONDUCTION, OSSICLES, VESTIBULE.