Question:

What connects the throat to the ear to equalizing pressure between the ear and environment?

Answer:

Eustachian tube extends from the middle ear to the rear of the throat, or pharynx, aka the pharyngotympanic or auditory tube.

More Info:

A sensory system is a part of the nervous system responsible for processing sensory information. A sensory system consists of sensory receptors, neural pathways, and parts of the brain involved in sensory perception. Commonly recognized sensory systems are those for vision, auditory (hearing), somatic sensation (touch), gustatory (taste), olfaction (smell) and vestibular (balance/movement). In short, senses are transducers from the physical world to the realm of the mind where we interpret the information, creating our perception of the world around us.

The receptive field is the specific part of the world to which a receptor organ and receptor cells respond. For instance, the part of the world an eye can see, is its receptive field; the light that each rod or cone can see, is its receptive field. Receptive fields have been identified for the visual system, auditory system and somatosensory system, so far.

The auditory system is the sensory system for the sense of hearing.


Head and neck

Head and neck anatomy focuses on the structures of the head and neck of the human body, including the brain, bones, muscles, blood vessels, nerves, glands, nose, mouth, teeth, tongue, and throat. It is an area frequently studied in depth by surgeons, dentists, dental technicians, and speech language pathologists.

The head is positioned upon the superior portion of the vertebral column, attaching the skull upon C-1 (the atlas). The skeletal section of the head and neck forms the superior segment of the axial skeleton and comprises skull, hyoid bone, auditory ossicles, and cervical spine. The skull can be further subdivided into:

The Eustachian tube /juːˌst.ʃənˈtjuːb/, also auditory tube or pharyngotympanic tube, is a tube that links the nasopharynx to the middle ear. It is a part of the middle ear. In adult humans the Eustachian tube is approximately 35 mm (1.4 in) long. It is named after the sixteenth-century anatomist Bartolomeo Eustachi. Some modern medical books call this the pharyngotympanic tube.


Middle ear

The middle ear is the portion of the ear internal to the eardrum, and external to the oval window of the cochlea. The mammalian middle ear contains three ossicles, which couple vibration of the eardrum into waves in the fluid and membranes of the inner ear. The hollow space of the middle ear has also been called the tympanic cavity, or cavum tympani. The eustachian tube joins the tympanic cavity with the nasal cavity (nasopharynx), allowing pressure to equalize between the middle ear and throat.

The primary function of the middle ear is to efficiently transfer acoustic energy from compression waves in air to fluid–membrane waves within the cochlea.

The salpingopharyngeus muscle arises from the superior border of the medial cartilage of the pharyngotympanic tube (Eustachian tube), in the nasal cavity, making the posterior welt of the torus tubarius; it passes downward and blends with the posterior fasciculus of the palatopharyngeus muscle.

The salpingopharyngeus is known to raise the pharynx and larynx during deglutition (swallowing) and laterally draws the pharyngeal walls up. In addition, it opens the pharyngeal orifice of the pharyngotympanic tube during swallowing. This allows for the equalization of pressure between the auditory canal and the pharynx.


Human pharynx

The human pharynx (plural: pharynges) is the part of the throat situated immediately posterior to the nasal cavity, posterior to the mouth and superior to the esophagus and larynx. The human pharynx is conventionally divided into three sections: the nasopharynx (epipharynx), the oropharynx (mesopharynx), and the laryngopharynx (hypopharynx). The pharynx is part of the digestive system and also the respiratory system; it is also important in vocalization.


Human anatomy

Human anatomy (gr. ἀνατομία, "dissection", from ἀνά, "up", and τέμνειν, "cut") is primarily the scientific study of the morphology of the human body. Anatomy is subdivided into gross anatomy and microscopic anatomy. Gross anatomy (also called topographical anatomy, regional anatomy, or anthropotomy) is the study of anatomical structures that can be seen by the naked eye. Microscopic anatomy is the study of minute anatomical structures assisted with microscopes, which includes histology (the study of the organization of tissues), and cytology (the study of cells). Anatomy, human physiology (the study of function), and biochemistry (the study of the chemistry of living structures) are complementary basic medical sciences that are generally together (or in tandem) to students studying medical sciences.

In some of its facets human anatomy is closely related to embryology, comparative anatomy and comparative embryology, through common roots in evolution; for example, much of the human body maintains the ancient segmental pattern that is present in all vertebrates with basic units being repeated, which is particularly obvious in the vertebral column and in the ribcage, and can be traced from very early embryos.

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