The Mechanics of Hearing

Cartoon of Mechanically Activated Nerve Channel*

Flies such as Drosophila hear with their antennae. The base of the antennae, the Johnston’s organ vibrates in response to vibrations in the air (sound). The vibrations mechanically move hairs that are innervated by sound detectors. How is the vibration in hairs and neurons converted into nerve signals?

Nerve signals are generated by ions such as sodium and potassium moving through channels in the nerve membrane. Channels are made from proteins…

Source: Living With Insects Blog

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