News of the WeekPhysiology

Math Clears Up an Inner-Ear Mystery: Spiral Shape Pumps Up the Bass

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Science  24 Feb 2006:
Vol. 311, Issue 5764, pp. 1087
DOI: 10.1126/science.311.5764.1087a

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For decades, researchers have wondered why a mammal's sound-perceiving organ, called the cochlea, coils like a seashell. Now, a team of auditory researchers has come up with an answer: The spiral shape increases sensitivity to low-frequency vibrations. (Read more.)