The human ear and frequency mapping in the cochlea. The three ossicles incus, malleus, and stapes transmit airborne vibration from the tympanic membrane to the oval window at the base of the cochlea. Because of the mechanical properties of the basilar membrane within the snail-shaped cochlea, high frequencies will produce a vibration peak near the oval window, whereas low frequencies will stimulate receptors near the apex of the cochlea (locations for three frequencies indicated schematically). Information from the cochlear receptor cells is transmitted to the cochlear nuclei via the 8th cranial nerve, and on through the midbrain to the cortex.
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