Sunday, May 20, 2012
Located in the petrous portion of the temporal bone, the cochlea is a spiral tube which is a part of the inner ear, resembling a snail shell. The inner walls of the cochlea are lined with a fine layer of epithelium tissue as a thin membrane divides the spiralled tube along its length into two spaces which are filled with fluids; these tubes are the scala vestibuli and the scala tympani. In between the scala vestibuli and the scala tympani, there is a third yet smaller spiraling tube called scala media or cochlear duct, contains the organ of Corti. This special sensitive organ lies along the length of the membrane and is composed of neuroepithelial hair cells, which are special sensory receptor for hearing. The cochlea and the vestibular system make up the labyrinth of the inner ear.