Because the inner ear, the cochlea, is embedded in a bony cavity in the temporal bone, called the bony labyrinth, vibrations of the entire skull can cause fluid vibrations in the cochlea itself. Therefore, under appropriate conditions, a tuning fork or an electronic vibrator placed on any bony protuberance of the skull, but especially on the mastoid process near the ear, causes the person to hear the sound. However, the energy available even in loud sound in the air is not sufficient to cause hearing via bone conduction unless a special electromechanical sound-amplifying device is applied to the bone.
Was this article helpful?
This ebook provides an introductory explanation of the workings of the human body, with an effort to draw connections between the body systems and explain their interdependencies. A framework for the book is homeostasis and how the body maintains balance within each system. This is intended as a first introduction to physiology for a college-level course.