The outer hair cell (OHC) is known to have the ability to change its length in response to voltage changes across its membrane. The apparent function of this OHC motility is to enhance the tuning of the basilar membrane. The model presented in this paper represents the displacement-to-voltage and voltage-to-displacement transducers of the OHC explicitly, each as low-pass filter functions. The model results show that this OHC representation is sufficient to provide a model of cochlear mechanics with mechanical tuning at the inner hair cell which is comparable to the threshold tuning curves observed in single auditory nerve fibers. The enhancement of tuning provided by OHC motility can be interpreted as the combined action of a cochlear amplifier and a second filter. This model demonstrates that realistic cochlear tuning does not require intrinsic resonance in any cochlear structure other than the basilar membrane.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics