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Re: mechanical cochlear model

Dear Peter, and others,

Any fluid motion (such as caused by a rocking stapes) will cause a travelling wave. Even the minute fluid displacements in
a compession wave will cause a traveling wave.

Now I see what you mean. This is surely an original view, which would be totally new to the community of Bekesy's followers, who have always maintained that a displacement of fluid volume via the cochlear windows was a precondition of a basilar membrane traveling wave.

I see a question mark with your view, though. The basilar membrane clearly is "harder" or "stiffer" than the cochlear fluids. Would this not imply that on the low-level side of sound input we are likely to have range where the energy is sufficient to move the fluids ("compression wave") but not sufficient to move the basilar membrane ("traveling wave")?

Would it not be reasonable to assume that in this range of energy input there could be enough energy to move hair cell cilia, but not enough energy to move the much, much "harder" or "stiffer" basilar membrane?


Martin Braun
Neuroscience of Music
S-671 95 Klässbol
email: nombraun@xxxxxxxxx
web site: http://www.neuroscience-of-music.se/index.htm