How We Hear
The ear is made up of three different sections: the outer ear, the middle ear, and the inner ear. These parts work together so we can hear and process sounds. The outer ear, or pinna (the part you can see), picks up sound waves that then travel down the ear canal.
When the sound waves hit the eardrum, the eardrum starts to vibrate. When the eardrum vibrates, it then causes three tiny bones in the middle ear to vibrate. These bones are called the ossicles (hammer, anvil and stirrup). They conduct sound through the middle and into the inner ear.
The vibrations then travel to the cochlea, which is filled with liquid and has thousands of tiny hairs. The sound vibrations make the tiny hairs move. The function of the hairs is to change the sound waves into electrical impulses that then travel along the auditory nerve to the brain. When the electrical impulses reach the brain,the sound is heard.