3.61  stapedius. Middle-ear muscle attached to the neck of the stapes. The reflex response of the auditory ossicles to an intense sound stimulus is to swing the footplate of the stapes outward (lateral to) and backward from the oval window. The action of the stapedius muscle is to limit the motion of the ossicles and thereby protect the inner ear from damage by intense sounds, especially at low frequencies, although no protection is provided for high frequencies or impulsive sounds. See 3.68.

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