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Individual Differences in Outer Hair Cell Function


Does anyone know of published evidence that people with normal densities (#OHC/mm) of normal outer hairs (they look normal, have all their stereo cilia and mitochondria etc), differ in function? That is, do some with normal outer hair cells have better cochlear amplifiers with sharper tuning than others with the same densities (#OHC/mm) of completely normal outer hair cells? I would be even interested in cross-species comparisons, if they make sense, since so much of what we know about hearing is, in fact, based on cross-species comparisons.

I ask because a reviewer of a recent grant proposal of mine appeared to think that everybody should know that some people have better outer hair cells than others, even when the OHC density per unit length is the same and when there is no sign of injury or deficit. I suppose it's a possiblity, but is there any evidence of any kind?


James D. Miller, Ph.D.
Principal Scientist
Communication Disorders Technology, Inc.
Indiana University Research Park
501 N. Morton Street Suite 215
Bloomington, IN 47404
Business Phone: (812)336-1766
Cingular Cell Phone: (812)360-0612