Abstract and Keywords
This article provides a general background to the study of the external and middle ear, and highlights the important advances made in the understanding of the roles of the external and middle ear over the past fifteen years. It starts with an overview of the auditory periphery, including a brief discussion of the structure and function of the external and middle ear. Following this, it discusses the fundamental sound stimulus to the inner ear. It then gives an overview of how the external and middle ear work together to produce an effective cochlear stimulus. Furthermore, it reviews some of the more recent findings on external and middle ear function. It also deals with the clinical relevance of some of these findings to the understanding of pathology and the diagnosis of disease. Finally, it highlights some of the unanswered questions regarding the structure and function of the external and middle ear.
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