Cochlear amplification, outer hair cells and prestin

Peter Dallos*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

172 Scopus citations


Mechanical amplification of acoustic signals is apparently a common feature of vertebrate auditory organs. In non-mammalian vertebrates amplification is produced by stereociliary processes, related to the mechanotransducer channel complex and probably to the phenomenon of fast adaptation. The extended frequency range of the mammalian cochlea has probably co-evolved with a novel hair cell type, the outer hair cell and its constituent membrane protein, prestin. Cylindrical outer hair cells are motile and their somatic length changes are voltage driven and powered by prestin. One of the central outstanding problems in mammalian cochlear neurobiology is the relation between the two amplification processes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)370-376
Number of pages7
JournalCurrent opinion in neurobiology
Issue number4
StatePublished - Aug 2008

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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