A commercially-available laser Doppler-shift velocimeter has been coupled to a compound microscope equipped with ultra-long-working-distance objectives for the purpose of measuring basilar membrane vibrations in the chinchilla. The animal preparation is nearly identical to that used in our laboratory for similar measurements using the Mössbauer technique. The vibrometer head is mounted on the third tube of the microscope's trinocular head and its laser beam is focused on high-refractive-index glass microbeads (10-30 μm) previously dropped, through the perilymph of scala tympani, on the basilar membrane. For equal sampling times, overall sensitivity of the laser velocimetry system is at least one order of magnitude greater than usually attained using the Mössbauer technique. However, the most important advantage of laser velocimetry vis-à-vis the Mössbauer technique is its linearity, which permits undistorted recording of signals over a wide velocity range. Thus, for example, we have measured basilar-membrane responses to clicks whose waveforms have dynamic ranges exceeding 60 dB.
- Basilar membrane
- Cochlear mechanics
- Laser Doppler-shift velocimetry
- Laser heterodyne interferometry
- Laser vibrometry
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems