The oval window (or ''fenestra vestibuli'' or ''fenestra ovalis'') is a membrane-covered opening from the middle ear to the
cochlea The cochlea is the part of the inner ear involved in hearing. It is a spiral-shaped cavity in the bony labyrinth, in humans making 2.75 turns around its axis, the modiolus (cochlea), modiolus. A core component of the cochlea is the Organ of Cort ...

of the inner ear. Vibrations that contact the
tympanic membrane In the anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of concerned with the study of the structure of s and their parts. Anatomy is a branch of natural science which deals with the structural organization of living thing ...

tympanic membrane
travel through the three
ossicles The ossicles (also called auditory ossicles) are three bone A bone is a rigid tissue Tissue may refer to: Biology * Tissue (biology), an ensemble of similar cells that together carry out a specific function * ''Triphosa haesitata'', a spe ...
and into the inner ear. The oval window is the intersection of the middle ear with the inner ear and is directly contacted by the ''
stapes The ''stapes'' or stirrup is a bone in the middle ear of humans and other animals which is involved in the conduction of sound vibrations to the inner ear. This bone is connected to the oval window by its Annular ligament of stapes, annular ligam ...
''; by the time vibrations reach the oval window, they have been amplified over 10 timesMoore and Dalley. Clinically Oriented Anatomy. 4th edition; 1999. p 971. from what they were when they contacted the tympanic membrane, a testament to the amplifying power of the middle ear. It is a reniform (kidney-shaped) opening leading from the tympanic cavity into the vestibule of the internal ear; its long diameter is horizontal and its convex border is upward. It is occupied by the base of the ''stapes'', the circumference of which is fixed by the annular ligament to the margin of the
foramen In anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology concerned with the study of the structure of organism In biology, an organism (from Ancient Greek, Greek: ὀργανισμός, ''organismos'') is any in ...

Additional images

Gray911.png, View of the inner wall of the
eardrum In the anatomy Anatomy (Greek ''anatomē'', 'dissection') is the branch of biology Biology is the natural science that studies life and living organisms, including their anatomy, physical structure, Biochemistry, chemical processes, ...
(label is ''fen. oval.'' — black circle near top) File:Cochlea.svg, Cochlea

See also

Round window The round window is one of the two openings from the middle ear The middle ear is the portion of the ear internal to the eardrum, and external to the oval window of the inner ear. The mammalian middle ear contains three ossicles, which transfer ...


External links

Washington University Washington University in St. Louis (WashU, or WUSTL) is a private research university A research university is a university A university ( la, universitas, 'a whole') is an educational institution, institution of higher education, higher ( ...

The Anatomy Wiz.
Oval Window Auditory system Ear {{anatomy-stub