Dictionary of Human Evolution and Biology

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Hair Cell

1. any specialized receptor nerve ending for detecting sensations, such as in the spinal organ.

2. sensory cell in the inner ear that lies between the basilar membrane and the tectorial membrane of the cochlea, semicircular canals, utricle, and saccule; hair cells receive their name from the fringe of specialized surface cilia at their tips. These stereocilia respond to the motion of the gelatinous tectorial membrane that triggers action potentials in fibers of the auditory nerve.

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From "Dictionary of Nursing and Individual Health Care"