How well do you know your ears?

1) Why does the external year (what we see outside) have the shape it has?

a. The shape is ideal for gathering sound

b. It is cosmetically more pleasing

c. To protect the inner year

d. Because of compression in the uterus (before birth)

2) Where does the ear canal lead to?

a. To the brain

b. To the hearing centre

c. It ends blindly

d. To the ear drum

3 ) Which of the following does the ear canal have?

a. Hairs

b. Wax glands

c. Nerve endings for hearing

d. Biological amplifiers

4) Where exactly does the process of hearing begin?

a. In the external ear

b. In the ear drum

c. In the middle ear

d. In the hearing centre in the brain

5) Sound causes vibrations in the ear drum which

a. Passes on the vibrations to three small bones in the middle ear

b. Itself is the seat of hearing

c. Are sensed by the brain to create meaning

d. Are analyzed by a sensor

6) The real site of hearing is

a. The inner ear

b. The ear drum

c. Grey matter in the brain

d. The auditory cortex

7) Apart from hearing, which other major and extremely important function does the ear perform?

a. inducing sleep

b. Dreaming

c. Hallucinations

d. Balancing

8) How is the inner ear connected to the brain?

a. By blood vessels

b. By fluid filled channels

c. By the auditory nerve

d. The inner ear lies within the brain itself

9) Which instrument is used to test loss of hearing?

a. Electro-audio graph

b. Radio meter

c. Audiometer

10) What does a hearing aid do?

a. It amplifies sound and directs it to the ear

b. It amplifies sound and suppresses unwanted noise

c. It improves the quality (tone) of sound, making it more clear

11) Why do we stagger after whirling around rapidly?

a. The balancing organ keeps sensing the motion, though we are steady because of inertia

b. Because of the centrifugal force acting on the balance organs

c. The brain too is rotating in the skull and takes time to settle down after we stop whirling

12) Why does our own voice appears so different on a tape recorder?

a. Electric impulses can never exactly mimic voice

b. The tape recorder is not refined enough, and hence there is loss of clarity

c. Because what we speak we also hear through our bones

13) Motion sickness too has its origin in the ears

a. True

b. False

14) Sound is measured by / specified by two characteristics. Which are they?

a. Intensity and loudness

b. Frequency and intensity

c. Sex and intensity

15) What exactly does noise pollution cause?

a. Permanent hearing loss

b. Temporary hearing loss

c. Nothing (the ears get used to it)


1) a And directing it towards the ear canal. Though the general shape is the same in all persons, there are numerous minor variations.

2) d

3) a and b

4) b

5) a The three bones are the Hammer, the Anvil, and the Stirrup which amplify the sound u to 22 times and pass it on to the inner ear.

6) a This is exactly where the sound is converted to electrical impulses

7) d The inner ear has two parts: the three semi circular canals for balancing and the cochlea for hearing.

8) c

9) c

10) a

11) a

12) c What we speak, others hear only by air conduction, but what we hear is a combination of air and bone conduction, quite different from the former. As an example, the racket we hear (and others don’t) while eating potato chips is because of bone conduction of the sound.

13) a

14) b Normal frequency range is 15 to 30,000 cycles per second. Intensity on the other hand is measured as decibels.

Normal talk – 60 decibels

Rock band – 120 decibels

Shot gun – 140 decibels etc.

15) a Yes! so beware