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J Acoust Soc Am. 1998 Apr;103(4):1972-89.

Basilar-membrane responses to clicks at the base of the chinchilla cochlea.

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  • 1Hugh Knowles Center, Department of Communication Sciences and Disorders, Northwestern University, Evanston, Illinois 60208-3550, USA.


Basilar-membrane responses to clicks were measured, using laser velocimetry, at a site of the chinchilla cochlea located about 3.5 mm from the oval window (characteristic frequency or CF: typically 8-10 kHz). They consisted of relatively undamped oscillations with instantaneous frequency that increased rapidly (time constant: 200 microseconds) from a few kHz to CF. Such frequency modulation was evident regardless of stimulus level and was also present post-mortem. Responses grew linearly at low stimulus levels, but exhibited a compressive nonlinearity at higher levels. Velocity-intensity functions were almost linear near response onset but became nonlinear within 100 microseconds. Slopes could be as low as 0.1-0.2 dB/dB at later times. Hence, the response envelopes became increasingly skewed at higher stimulus levels, with their center of gravity shifting to earlier times. The phases of near-CF response components changed by nearly 180 degrees as a function of time. At high stimulus levels, this generated cancellation notches and phase jumps in the frequency spectra. With increases in click level, sharpness of tuning deteriorated and the spectral maximum shifted to lower frequencies. Response phases also changed as a function of increasing stimulus intensity, exhibiting relative lags and leads at frequencies somewhat lower and higher than CF, respectively. In most respects, the magnitude and phase frequency spectra of responses to clicks closely resembled those of responses to tones. Post-mortem responses were similar to in vivo responses to very intense clicks.

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