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J Perinatol. 2000 Dec;20(8 Pt 2):S12-20.

Development of the ear and hearing.

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Department of Communication Disorders, University of Florida Health Sciences Center, 1600 SW Archer Road, P.O. Box 100174, Gainesville, FL 32610-0174, USA.


Knowledge of the development of the peripheral auditory system, especially the middle ear and inner ear (cochlea), contributes to meaningful interpretation of audiologic measures infants, including newborn screening outcome. An understanding of the effects of noise on neonatal auditory system and hearing function is also dependent on maturational factors. This paper is a brief overview of principles and trends in the development of the middle and inner ear. The emphasis is on maturation of human peripheral auditory system structure and function, although reference is also made to animal research.

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