The organ of Corti, also known as the spiral organ, is the receptor organ for hearing, located in the cochlea (housed inside the scala media). It is a strip of sensory epithelium made of hair cells which act as the sensory receptors of the inner ear.
This is a gross oversimplification of the complex mechanisms that occurs in the organ of Corti.
Transduction of signals occur either through the vibration of structures in the inner ear (air conduction) or through vibration of the skull (bone conduction), causing displacement of cochlear fluid and movement of hair cells in the organ of Corti, which in turn produces electrochemical signals that release the neurotransmitter glutamate and then signals the auditory nerve 1.
The organ was discovered in 1851 by Italian anatomist Alfonso Giamoco Gaspare Corti (1822-1876) 2.
- 1. Hudspeth AJ. Integrating the active process of hair cells with cochlear function. Nature reviews. Neuroscience. 15 (9): 600-14. doi:10.1038/nrn3786 - Pubmed
- 2. Betlejewski S. [Science and life--the history of Marquis Alfonso Corti]. Otolaryngologia polska = The Polish otolaryngology. 62 (3): 344-7. doi:10.1016/S0030-6657(08)70268-3 - Pubmed