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What Are the Semicircular Canals of the Ear?


Updated June 25, 2014

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What Are the Semicircular Canals of the Ear?

Semicircular canals

Photo © A.D.A.M.
Question: What Are the Semicircular Canals of the Ear?
Answer: The semicircular canals are organs in the inner ear that are responsible for balance and equilibrium.

The semicircular canals consist of three ducts arranged on three perpendicular planes. At the end of each canal is a swelling called an ampulla.

The semicircular canals are filled with fluid called endolymph. When we move our bodies, the fluid inside the semicircular canals moves as well. Its movement is detected by hair-like projections called cilia, and then this information is sent to the auditory nerve, where it is processed by the brain.


The Inner Ear. Accessed: October 26, 2009 from http://hyperphysics.phy-astr.gsu.edu/hbasees/Sound/eari.html

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