Send to

Choose Destination
See comment in PubMed Commons below
Hear Res. 2013 Jul;301:105-14. doi: 10.1016/j.heares.2012.11.005. Epub 2012 Nov 14.

Comparison of forward (ear-canal) and reverse (round-window) sound stimulation of the cochlea.

Author information

Department of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School, Eaton Peabody Laboratory, Massachusetts Eye and Ear Infirmary, 243 Charles Street, Boston, MA 02114, USA.


The cochlea is normally driven with "forward" stimulation, in which sound is introduced to the ear canal. Alternatively, the cochlea can be stimulated at the round window (RW) using an actuator. During RW "reverse" stimulation, the acoustic flow starting at the RW does not necessarily take the same path as during forward stimulation. To understand the differences between forward and reverse stimulation, we measured ear-canal pressure, stapes velocity, RW velocity, and intracochlear pressures in scala vestibuli (SV) and scala tympani (ST) of fresh human temporal bones. During forward stimulation, the cochlear drive (differential pressure across the partition) results from the large difference in magnitude between the pressures of SV and ST, which occurs due to the high compliance of the RW. During reverse stimulation, the relatively high impedance of the middle ear causes the pressures of SV and ST to have similar magnitudes, and the differential pressure results primarily from the difference in phase of the pressures. Furthermore, the sound path differs between forward and reverse stimulation, such that motion through a third window is more significant during reverse stimulation. Additionally, we determined that although stapes velocity is a good estimate of cochlear drive during forward stimulation, it is not a good measure during reverse stimulation. This article is part of a special issue entitled "MEMRO 2012".

[Indexed for MEDLINE]
Free PMC Article
PubMed Commons home

PubMed Commons

How to join PubMed Commons

    Supplemental Content

    Full text links

    Icon for Elsevier Science Icon for PubMed Central
    Loading ...
    Support Center