The clinical cochlea

Lawrence R. Lustig

in Oxford Handbook of Auditory Science: The Ear

Published in print January 2010 | ISBN: 9780199233397
Published online November 2012 | | DOI:

Series: Oxford Library of Psychology

 The clinical cochlea

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  • Psychology
  • Cognitive Neuroscience
  • Cognitive Psychology


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The cochlea is a highly complex, tightly regulated sensory end-organ responsible for the conversion of environmental sound into a meaningful auditory neuronal response. Hearing loss can occur at any stage of the auditory pathway, from the ear canal to the auditory cortex. Although simple otoscopy can identify obvious pathology in the external and middle ear, the ability to determine the cause and nature of hearing loss is often limited by physical exam alone. Thus, subjective and objective measures of hearing have become paramount in the clinical evaluation of the cochlea. This article provides a basic foundation of how the clinician approaches the cochlea and the various pathologies that can affect it and lead to hearing loss. It addresses clinical hearing assessment. It also gives information about the clinical disorders of the cochlea, discussing the epidemiology and treatment for each type of disorder.

Keywords: cochlea; sensory end-organ; auditory neuronal response; hearing loss; hearing assessment; clinical disorders

Article.  16840 words. 

Subjects: Psychology ; Cognitive Neuroscience ; Cognitive Psychology

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