Histology Guide

virtual microscopy laboratory

Chapter 20 - Organs of Special Sense

The special sense organs associated with other organs have already been discussed. These include the olfactory mucosa, taste buds and tactile receptors. In this chapter, the structure and function of the last two remaining organs of special sense,the eye and ear, which are anatomically independent of other organs will be discussed.


The eye is the sensory organ responsible for vision. Light is gathered by the lens which then projects and focuses the image onto the retina.

(optic nerve)

Eyelid and Conjunctiva

An eyelid is a thin fold of skin that covers and protects the eye. The conjunctiva is a mucous membrane that covers the front of the eye and lines the inside of eyelids.


The auditory system consists of three parts: the external ear that gathers sounds, the middle ear is a cavity that contains three small bones which transmit sound to the inner ear, and the inner ear is an elaborate convoluted space within the temporal bone.