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Neurosci Lett. 1996 Dec 6;220(1):49-52.

Development of cochlear active mechanisms in humans differs between gender.

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UPRESA CNRS 5020, Claude Bernard University, Lyon, France.


Despite onset of function early during the third term of gestation, the human auditory system demonstrates continued maturation, thought previously to occur primarily at the neural level. The electromotile properties of outer hair cells appear to contribute substantially to hearing sensitivity and frequency selectivity and lead to the generation of otoacoustic emissions (OAEs). This report demonstrates continued development of cochlear active mechanisms (i.e. end-organ level) after onset of cochlear function, as reflected by OAEs. Significant gender differences also are reported, corresponding to recently observed intersex differences in cochlear length and precursory to gender differences observed in the adult.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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