Over the years there have been periodic discussions on this list about resonance and travelling waves in the cochlea. List members might therefore be interested in a wide-ranging paper on this topic just published in PLOS ONE. My paper, “A Resonance Approach to Cochlear Mechanics”, can be accessed at http://dx.plos.org/10.1371/journal.pone.0047918
A supporting paper, “Reptile ears and mammalian ears: hearing without a travelling wave”, might also be of interest. This paper was recently published in the Journal of Hearing Science and can be found at http://www.journalofhearingscience.com/fulltxt.php?lang=EN&ICID=883509
Thankyou to list members for a range of stimulating comments. The aim of the above papers is to set out a consistent alternative theory of how the human cochlea works, and I trust they clarify a number of issues that have been raised.
Dr Andrew Bell