Organ of Corti
The basilar membrane bears on it an organ of hearing called the organ of Corti .
The latter consists of receptor cells (phonoreceptors) and supporting cells. The receptor cells, also called hair cells, bear hair (modified microvilli) at the free surface and have synaptic contacts with the dendrites of neurons at the bases. The tips of ‘hair’ are embedded in a smooth, gelatinous sheet, the tectorial membrane. The supporting cells are of two types : long pillar cells and short phalangeal or Deiter’s cells. Bending of ‘hair’ reduces the membrane potential of the hair cells, causing release of their chemical transmitter and initiation of receptor (action) potential in the sensory nerve endings.
The organ of corti of the inner ear located on the basilar membrane (the floor of the scala media referred to as the basilar membrane).They includes three rows of outer hair cells and one row of inner hair cells. Vibrations caused by sound waves bend the stereocilia on these hair cells via an electromechanical force.
The function of organ of Corti is a specialized sensory epithelium that allows for the transduction of sound vibrations into neural signals.