Cochlear Neurons: Frequency Selectivity Altered by Perilymph Removal

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Science  11 Oct 1974:
Vol. 186, Issue 4159, pp. 153-155
DOI: 10.1126/science.186.4159.153


Removal of perilylmph from the scala tympani of the guinea pig cochlea reversibly broadened the tuning curves of single spiral ganglion cells emanating from the basilar membrane. Thus, fluid continuity along the membrane is essential for normal cochlear function, in particular for sharp neural tuning curves. These data reveal a possible source of error in some estimates of basilar membrane motion and suggest a reappraisal of current concepts of the mechanism of sharp tunig in primary auditory nerve fibers.