Also refers to the general ability of a person to percieve aural input, as in a trained ear, in which the person has had musical training so that they can hear things that most other people can't; or an ear for something, like "an ear for pitch."

Man, ears are cool. Face it, microphones are neat, but they suck compared to ears. If you ask me, ears are even cooler than eyes, even if they are less studied. Your ears have the job of taking sound and turning it into neural impulses (action potentials), so the brain can use the information. This isn't an easy job. Natural sounds are very complex. Also, sounds aren't like the visual field. In vision, inputs enter the retina with spatial separation. Your ear doesn't have that advantage. Sound inputs all come into the ear piled up on top of one another. Nonetheless, you can distinguish individual sounds, even if they occur simultaneously. Start winamp. I'll wait. Play something. See, you can differentiate between the sounds of the individual instruments. But they don't come into your ear seperately. Now play something in stereo. You can tell what direction the sounds are coming from. Now, a lot of this has to do with neural processing, but the ear is the first step. It provides the information to the brain in a format that allows the brain to extract all this information from two inputs.

So, how do ears do what they do? Well, form follows function, so, let's start with the form of the ear. We'll work our way in from the outer ear, and I'll talk about form as we go. Okay, the outer ear is the part of the ear that you see. The major parts are the pinna and the tragus. The pinna is the big flesy part, shaped kinda like a radar dish. One of it's major functions is sound collection. It basically serves as a reflector, either reflecting sound directly into the ear canal, or off of the tragus and into the ear canal. Notice that your pinna is much bigger than your ear canal (duh). This is important. The sound energy from the pinna, a large area is reflected into a smaller area. Basically, this amounts to amplification of sound, which is vital, because the ear has to take sound from a gaseous medium and transfer it to a liquid medium. This isn't easy. If you don't belive me, go stick your head in the toilet. Make sure your ears are submerged, and try to hear winamp playing. You can't, because most of the sound that hits the water from the air is reflected off of it's surface. Before we move on, dry off your ears and notice the complex shape of the pinna. This shape affects how different frequencies enter your ear. It changes the frequency spectrum of sound as it moves from the outside world into your ear. This change is non-trivial (See Auditory Localization for some details). Try doing someting to malform your pinna. It should be something which is quickly reversible, such as pushing them out from your head. You'll notice that things sound slightly different when you do this. Try it a couple of times. If you walk around like this for a while, it will probably fuck with your ability to localize sounds. I would expect you would eventually adapt though. Plasticity rules.

Okay, now we move through the ear canal and into the middle ear. At the end of the ear canal is the tympanic membrane, commonly known as the eardrum. When sound hits the eardrum, it vibrates. The eardrum is connected to a series of small bones, the malleus, incus, and stapes. These bones are important in amplifying the force of the tympanic membrane. They work like levers and pistons. Enery is transferred from the eardrum to the malleus, to the incus, and lastly to the stapes. The output portion of the stapes is much smaller than the eardrum. Thus, we have amplification once again. The stapes then transfers the energy to the oval window of the cochlea. The cochlea is a fluid filled cavity in the inner ear. It is the coolest part of the ear, so much so that it is worthy of it's own node. Not only that, but the writups there are flat out wrong, so I've got to correct them.


Back to How your brain works.
Onward, into the fluidy recesses of the cochlea.

The ear consists of three parts: The outer ear (Ear canal and eardrum), the middle ear (Stirrup, Anvil and Hammer), and the inner ear (Semicircular canals and Cochlea)

Sound waves travels through the ear canal and into the eardrum, which is also known as the tympanum. The sound waves cause the tympanum to vibrate and the three small bones of the middle ear, the anvil, hammer and stirrup, transfer the vibrations of the tympanum to the oval window of the Cochlea. By this time the tympanum and middle ear have amplified the vibrations by a factor of 40. The liquid-filled Cochlea transforms the energy of the sound waves into electrical energy and sends these impulses to the brain. The semicircular canals of the inner ear have little or nothing to do with hearing and are used for controlling balance.

JI mimi (ear)

Character Etymology:

A stylzied derivative of a pictograph of a human ear.

ASCII Art Representation:

 
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A Listing of All On-Yomi and Kun-Yomi Readings:

on-yomi: JI
kun-yomi: mimi

Nanori Readings:

Nanori: gami

English Definitions:

  1. JI: ear.
  2. mimi: edge, border; loop; selvage; bread crusts.

Unicode Encoded Version:

Unicode Encoded Compound Examples:

耳朶 (mimitabu): earlobe.
耳飾り (mimikazari): earring.

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In the Diablo computer game series by Blizzard, a portion of the reward received when killing another player's character. Depending on the game, it may be accompanied by other items and/or a calculated amount of gold, dropped from the deceased character's inventory.

From an ear, the killed character's name and level (at the time of their death) can be determined.

Useful primarily for bounty hunting, ears are a means of proof that a character has been killed.

Ear (?), n. [AS. e�xa0;re; akin to OFries. �xa0;re, �xa0;r, OS. ra, D. oor, OHG. ra, G. ohr, Icel. eyra, Sw. ora, Dan. ore, Goth. auso, L. auris, Lith. ausis, Russ. ukho, Gr. ; cf. L. audire to hear, Gr. , Skr. av to favor , protect. Cf. Auricle, Orillon.]

1.

The organ of hearing; the external ear.

In man and the higher vertebrates, the organ of hearing is very complicated, and is divisible into three parts: the external ear, which includes the pinna or auricle and meatus or external opening; the middle ear, drum, or tympanum; and the internal ear, or labyrinth. The middle ear is a cavity connected by the Eustachian tube with the pharynx, separated from the opening of the external ear by the tympanic membrane, and containing a chain of three small bones, or ossicles, named malleus, incus, and stapes, which connect this membrane with the internal ear. The essential part of the internal ear where the fibers of the auditory nerve terminate, is the membranous labyrinth, a complicated system of sacs and tubes filled with a fluid (the endolymph), and lodged in a cavity, called the bony labyrinth, in the periotic bone. The membranous labyrinth does not completely fill the bony labyrinth, but is partially suspended in it in a fluid (the perilymph). The bony labyrinth consists of a central cavity, the vestibule, into which three semicircular canals and the canal of the cochlea (spirally coiled in mammals) open. The vestibular portion of the membranous labyrinth consists of two sacs, the utriculus and sacculus, connected by a narrow tube, into the former of which three membranous semicircular canals open, while the latter is connected with a membranous tube in the cochlea containing the organ of Corti. By the help of the external ear the sonorous vibrations of the air are concentrated upon the tympanic membrane and set it vibrating, the chain of bones in the middle ear transmits these vibrations to the internal ear, where they cause certain delicate structures in the organ of Corti, and other parts of the membranous labyrinth, to stimulate the fibers of the auditory nerve to transmit sonorous impulses to the brain.

2.

The sense of hearing; the perception of sounds; the power of discriminating between different tones; as, a nice ear for music; -- in the singular only.

Songs . . . not all ungrateful to thine ear. Tennyson.

3.

That which resembles in shape or position the ear of an animal; any prominence or projection on an object, -- usually one for support or attachment; a lug; a handle; as, the ears of a tub, a skillet, or dish. The ears of a boat are outside kneepieces near the bow. See Illust. of Bell.

4. Arch. (a)

Same as Acroterium

(a).

(b)

Same as Crossette.

5.

Privilege of being kindly heard; favor; attention.

Dionysius . . . would give no ear to his suit. Bacon.

Friends, Romans, countrymen, lend me your ears. Shak.

About the ears, in close proximity to; near at hand. -- By the ears, in close contest; as, to set by the ears; to fall together by the ears; to be by the ears. -- Button ear (in dogs), an ear which falls forward and completely hides the inside. -- Ear finger, the little finger. -- Ear of Dionysius, a kind of ear trumpet with a flexible tube; -- named from the Sicilian tyrant, who constructed a device to overhear the prisoners in his dungeons. -- Ear sand Anat., otoliths. See Otolith. -- Ear snail Zool., any snail of the genus Auricula and allied genera. -- Ear stones Anat., otoliths. See Otolith. -- Ear trumpet, an instrument to aid in hearing. It consists of a tube broad at the outer end, and narrowing to a slender extremity which enters the ear, thus collecting and intensifying sounds so as to assist the hearing of a partially deaf person. -- Ear vesicle Zool., a simple auditory organ, occurring in many worms, mollusks, etc. It consists of a small sac containing a fluid and one or more solid concretions or otocysts. -- Rose ear (in dogs), an ear which folds backward and shows part of the inside. -- To give ear to, to listen to; to heed, as advice or one advising. "Give ear unto my song." Goldsmith. -- To have one's ear, to be listened to with favor. -- Up to the ears, deeply submerged; almost overwhelmed; as, to be in trouble up to one's ears. [Colloq.]

© Webster 1913.


Ear (?), v. t. [imp. & p. p. Eared (?); p. pr. & vb. n. Earing.]

To take in with the ears; to hear.

[Sportive] "I eared her language."

Two Noble Kinsmen.

© Webster 1913.


Ear, n. [AS. ear; akin to D. aar, OHG. ahir, G. ahre, Icel., Sw., & Dan. ax, Goth. ahs. . Cf. Awn, Edge.]

The spike or head of any cereal (as, wheat, rye, barley, Indian corn, etc.), containing the kernels.

First the blade, then the ear, after that the full corn in the ear. Mark iv. 28.

© Webster 1913.


Ear, v. i.

To put forth ears in growing; to form ears, as grain; as, this corn ears well.

© Webster 1913.


Ear, v. t. [OE. erien, AS. erian; akin to OFries. era, OHG. erran, MHG. eren, ern, Prov. G. aren, aren, Icel. erja, Goth. arjan, Lith. arti, OSlav. orati, L. arare, Gr. . Cf. Arable.]

To plow or till; to cultivate.

"To ear the land."

Shak.

© Webster 1913.

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