Human response to noise
When Vincent van Gogh cut off his ear, he probably lost some of his ability
to locate the source of sounds in the vertical plane. The rest of his auditory
faculties would not have been greatly affected, because the pinna, which to
artists and others is the ear, is separated from the rest of the hearing organ.
Because the hearing organ is so sensitive, it is also susceptible to damage as a
result of physical contact with objects in the environment. It is located inside the
skull at the end of a short tube called the auditory canal or meatus. Typically,
in an adult, this is around 25-30mm long and has a diameter varying between
5 and 8mm.