1. An outer hair cell-powered global hydromechanical mechanism for cochlear amplification

    An outer hair cell-powered global hydromechanical mechanism for cochlear amplification

    It is a common belief that the mammalian cochlea achieves its exquisite sensitivity, frequency selectivity, and dynamic range through an outer hair cell-based active process, or cochlear amplification. As a sound-induced traveling wave propagates from the cochlear base toward the apex, outer hair cells at a narrow region amplify the low level sound-induced vibration through a local feedback mechanism. This widely accepted theory has been tested by measuring sound-induced sub-nanometer vibrations within the organ of Corti in the sensitive living cochleae using heterodyne low-coherence interferometry and optical coherence tomography. The aim of this short review is to summarize experimental findings ...

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