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Chabner's Language of medicine, 9th edition. Keywords for Chapter 18- sense organs.


normal adjustment of the eye to focus on objects from far to near. The ciliary body adjusts the lens (rounding it) and the pupil constricts. When the eye focuses from near to far, the ciliary body flattens the lens and the pupil dilates.

anterior chamber

area behind the cornea & in front of the lens and iris. It contains aqueous humor.

aqueous humor

fluid produced by the ciliary body and found in the anterior chamber


consisting of two surfaces that are rounded, elevated, and curved evenly, like part of a sphere.


middle vascular layer of the eye, between the retina and sclera; a dark brown membrane that contains many blood vessels

ciliary body

Structure surrounding the lens that connects the choroid and iris. It contains ciliary muscles, which control the shape of the lens, and it secretes aqueous humor.


Photoreceptor cell in the retina that transforms light energy into a nerve impulse. These are responsible for color and central vision.


Fibrous transparent layer of clear tissue that extends over the anterior portion of the eyeball.

fovea centralis

tiny pit or depression in the retina that is the region of clearest vision

fundus of the eye

Posterior, inner part of the eye.


Pigmented (colored) layer that opens and closes to allow more or less light in the eye. The central opening of this is the pupil.


transparent bioconvex structure behind the pupil of the eye. It bends light rays to bring them into focus on the retina


yellowish region on the retina lateral to and slightly below the optic disc; contains the fovea centralis, which is the area of clearest vision.

optic chiasm

Point at which optic nerve fibers cross in the brain.

optic disc

Region at the back of the eye where the optic nerve meets the retina. It is the blind spot of eye because it contains only nerve fibers, no rods or cones, and is thus insenseitive to light.

optic nerve

cranial nerve carrying impulses from the retina to the brain (cerebral cortex)


central opening of the eye, surrounded by the iris, through which light rays pass. It appears dark.


Bending of light rays by the cornea, lens, and fluids of the eye to bring the rays into focus on the retina.


light sensitive nerve cell layer of the eye containing photoreceptor cells (rods and cones)


photoreceptor cell of the retina essential for vision in dim light and for peripheral vision


Tough, white outer coat of the eyeball


Relay center of the brain. Optic nerve fibers pass through this on their way to the cerebral cortex .

vitreous humor

soft, jelly-like material behind the lens in the vitreous chamber; helps maintain the shape of the eyeball

Auditory Canal

Channel that leads from the pinnna to the eardrum; external auditory meatus

Auditory Meatus

Auditory canal

Auditory nerve fibers

Carry impulses from the inner ear to the brain (cerebral cortex). These compose the vestibulocochlear nerve (cranial nerve VIII).

Auditory tube

Channel between the middle ear and the nasopharynx (eustachian tube)


Flap of the ear; the protruding part of the external ear or pinna


Waxy substance secreted by the external ear also called earwax


Snail-shaped, spirally wound tube in the inner ear; contains hearing receptor cells


Fluid with the labyrinth of the inner ear

Eustachian tube

A canal leading from the middle ear to the pharynx. Auditory tube


Second ossicle (bone) of the middle ear; means anvil


maze-like series of canals of the inner ear.This includes the cochlea, vestibule, and semicircular canals


first ossicle of the middle ear; this means hammer

organ of Corti

sensitive auditory receptor area found in the cochlea of the inner ear


small bone of the ear; includes the malleus, incus and stapes

oval window

membrane between the middle ear and the inner ear


fluid contained in the labyrinth of the inner ear


auricle; flap of the ear

semicircular canals

passages in the inner ear associated with maintaining equilibrium


third ossicle of the middle ear; this means stirrup

tympanic membrane

membrane between the outer and the middle ear; also called the eardrum


central cavity of the labyrinth, connecting the semicircular canals and the cochlea. Contains two structures; the saccule and utricle, that help maintain equilibrium.


The choroid, iris, and ciliary body of the eye


A membrane lining the inner surfaces of the eyelids and anterior portion of the eyeball over the white of the eye.

vitreous chamber

A large region behind the lens filled with vitreous humor.

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