Correlation Engine 2.0
Clear Search sequence regions

  • basilar membrane (3)
  • cellular (1)
  • cochlea (2)
  • epithelium (1)
  • hair (1)
  • mammals (1)
  • minor (1)
  • organ (1)
  • organ corti (4)
  • outer hair cells (3)
  • sound (2)
  • Sizes of these terms reflect their relevance to your search.

    The mammalian ear embeds a cellular amplifier that boosts sound-induced hydromechanical waves as they propagate along the cochlea. The operation of this amplifier is not fully understood and is difficult to disentangle experimentally. In the prevailing view, cochlear waves are amplified by the piezo-electric action of the outer hair cells (OHCs), whose cycle-by-cycle elongations and contractions inject power into the local motion of the basilar membrane (BM). Concomitant deformations of the opposing (or "top") side of the organ of Corti are assumed to play a minor role and are generally neglected. However, analysis of intracochlear motions obtained using optical coherence tomography calls this prevailing view into question. In particular, the analysis suggests that (i) the net local power transfer from the OHCs to the BM is either negative or highly inefficient; and (ii) vibration of the top side of the organ of Corti plays a primary role in traveling-wave amplification. A phenomenological model derived from these observations manifests realistic cochlear responses and suggests that amplification arises almost entirely from OHC-induced deformations of the top side of the organ of Corti. In effect, the model turns classic assumptions about spatial impedance relations and power-flow direction within the sensory epithelium upside down.


    Alessandro Altoè, James B Dewey, Karolina K Charaziak, John S Oghalai, Christopher A Shera. Overturning the mechanisms of cochlear amplification via area deformations of the organ of Corti. The Journal of the Acoustical Society of America. 2022 Oct;152(4):2227

    Expand section icon Mesh Tags

    PMID: 36319240

    View Full Text