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Review
. 2019 Mar;67(3):159-164.
doi: 10.1007/s00106-019-0615-9.

The Speed Limit of Outer Hair Cell Electromechanical Activity

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Review

The Speed Limit of Outer Hair Cell Electromechanical Activity

J Santos-Sacchi. HNO. .

Abstract

The outer hair cell of Corti's organ provides mechanical feedback into the organ to boost auditory perception. The fidelity of voltage-dependent motility has been estimated to extend beyond 50 kHz, where its force generation is deemed a requirement for sensitive high-frequency mammalian hearing. Recent investigations have shown, however, that the frequency response is substantially more low pass at physiological membrane potentials where the kinetics of prestin impose their speed limit. Nevertheless, it is likely that the reduced magnitude of electromotility is sufficient to drive cochlear amplification at high frequencies.

Keywords: Auditory perception; Cochlea; Feedback; Membrane potentials; Organ of Corti.

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