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Nat Neurosci. 2008 Jul;11(7):746-8. doi: 10.1038/nn.2129. Epub 2008 May 30.

Outer hair cell somatic, not hair bundle, motility is the basis of the cochlear amplifier.

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School of Life Sciences, University of Sussex, Falmer, Brighton, BN1 9QG, UK.


Sensitivity, dynamic range and frequency tuning of the cochlea are attributed to amplification involving outer hair cell stereocilia and/or somatic motility. We measured acoustically and electrically elicited basilar membrane displacements from the cochleae of wild-type and Tecta(DeltaENT/DeltaENT) mice, in which stereocilia are unable to contribute to amplification near threshold. Electrically elicited responses from Tecta(DeltaENT/DeltaENT) mice were markedly similar to acoustically and electrically elicited responses from wild-type mice. We conclude that somatic, and not stereocilia, motility is the basis of cochlear amplification.

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