Also from of the “Cochlea Suite”, this painting shows the three rows of cilia which are part of the outer hair cells (‘v’ shaped portions) as well as the single row of inner hair cells and corresponding cilia or “hairs”.
The bottom of the hair cells are attached to the basilar membrane, and the stereocilia are in contact with the tectorial membrane. Inside the cochlea, sound waves cause the basilar membrane to vibrate in an up and down motion. This creates a force between the basilar membrane and the tectorial membrane, causing the haircells and corresponding cilia to bend back and forth. Within the hair cells electrical charges are created. These signals are passed on to the brain via auditory nerve fibers which rest below the hair cells.