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The human cochlea has been preserved from post-mortem autolysis by perfusion with a fixative shortly after death. Subsequent staining with osmium permits dissection of this structure from the temporal bone. (Temporal bones were obtained from eight patients). When prepare for examination in the scanning electron microscope, the auditory sensory cells are found to be located in the band-like organ of Corti which extends the length of the cochlea. The sensory cells have a cluster of stereocilia projecting from their free upper surface and because of this are called hair cells. The hair cells are divided into two separate groups: a single row of inner hair cells, which show little variation in their surface appearance along the length of the cochlea, and three or four rows of outer hair cells whose cilia change in conformation and increase in length along the cochlea.