|The right membrana tympani with the hammer and the chorda tympani, viewed from within, from behind, and from above.|
|The medial wall and part of the posterior and anterior walls of the right tympanic cavity, lateral view. (Label for "Tensor tympani muscle" is at right, second from bottom.)|
|Bones and muscles in the tympanic cavity in the middle ear|
|Latin||musculus tensor tympani|
|Gray's||subject #231 1046|
|Insertion||handle of the malleus|
|Artery:||superior tympanic artery|
|Nerve:||medial pterygoid nerve from the mandibular nerve (V)|
|Action:||tensing the tympanic membrane|
The tensor tympani, the larger of the two muscles of the tympanic cavity, is contained in the bony canal above the osseous portion of the auditory tube, from which it is separated by the septum canalis musculotubarii.
Origin and insertion
Passing backward through the canal, it ends in a slender tendon which enters the tympanic cavity, makes a sharp bend around the extremity of the septum, and is inserted into the manubrium of the malleus, near its root.
When tensed, the action of the muscle is to pull the malleus medially, tensing the tympanic membrane, damping vibration in the ear ossicles and thereby reducing the amplitude of sounds. This muscle is contracted primarily to dampen the noise produced by chewing. (Compare to the more general dampening function of the stapedius muscle.)
This article was originally based on an entry from a public domain edition of Gray's Anatomy. As such, some of the information contained herein may be outdated. Please edit the article if this is the case, and feel free to remove this notice when it is no longer relevant.