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MCAT Question A Day - 6/30/13 - Answer!

Identify the correct sequence of structures through which sound vibrations pass when hearing receptors in the cochlea are stimulated.

A.  Tympanum, oval window, round window, basilar membrane
B.  Tympanum, round window, oval window, basilar membrane
C.  Tympanum, oval window, basilar membrane, round window
D.  Tympanum, round window, basilar membrane, oval window

The correct answer is (C). The path of soundwave vibrations through the different parts of the ear is as follows: tympanum (eardrum) to middle ear ossicles to oval window (into the cochlea) to basilar membrane to hair-cell receptors in the Organ of Corti to round window (out of the cochlea) to eustachian tube.