Sensory transduction and frequency selectivity in the basal turn of the guinea-pig cochlea

Philos Trans R Soc Lond B Biol Sci. 1992 Jun 29;336(1278):317-24. doi: 10.1098/rstb.1992.0064.


Receptor potentials recorded from outer hair cells (OHC) and inner hair cells (IHC) in the basal high-frequency turn were compared. The DC component of the IHC receptor potential is maximized to ensure that IHCS can signal a voltage response to high-frequency tones. The OHC DC component is minimized so that OHCS transduce in the most sensitive region of their operating range. The phase and magnitude of OHC receptor potentials were recorded as an indicator of the magnitude and phase of the energy which is fed back to the basilar membrane to provide the basis for the sharp tuning and fine sensitivity of the cochlea to tones. IHC receptor potentials were recorded to assess the net effect of the feedback on the mechanics of the cochlea. It was concluded that OHCS generate feedback which enhances the IHC responses only at the best frequency. At frequencies below CF, IHC DC responses are elicited only when the OHC AC responses begin to saturate.

Publication types

  • Comparative Study
  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Acoustic Stimulation
  • Animals
  • Cochlea / physiology*
  • Electrophysiology
  • Feedback
  • Guinea Pigs
  • Hair Cells, Auditory / physiology
  • Hearing / physiology*