Temperature Effects on the Peripheral Auditory Apparatus

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Science  10 Dec 1965:
Vol. 150, Issue 3702, pp. 1481-1483
DOI: 10.1126/science.150.3702.1481


Cooling with a thermoelectric cold probe, well localized in the region of the cochlea, produces a rapid, reversible decrease in the amplitude and increase in the latency of the action potential induced by clicks. These changes closely resemble those produced by reducing click intensity. Temperature also affects the amplitude of the cochlear microphonic, but the amount of change is considerably less than, and is poorly correlated with, the amplitlude change of the action potential. It is speculated that temperature may act on a hypothetical " excitatory process" in the cochlea, which comes after the cochlear microphonic in the sequence leading to production of the action potential of the auditory nerve.