Cochlear tuning.. of mice and men

Shirin Farrahi, Roozbeh Ghaffari, Jonathan B. Sellon, Hideko H. Nakajima, Dennis M. Freeman*

*Corresponding author for this work

    Research output: Chapter in Book/Report/Conference proceedingConference contribution

    2 Scopus citations


    It has been suggested that humans discriminate different frequency sounds with greater selectivity than other mammals. However, mechanisms that could underlie higher frequency selectivity in humans are unclear. Recent studies show that the tectorial membrane (TM) supports longitudinally propagating waves, and the spread of excitation of these TM waves has been implicated in controlling the tuning properties in a mutant mouse model of hearing. Here we compare TM morphology and waves in humans and mice and show that despite some differences in morphology, the spread of excitation of TM waves is similar in spatial extent. However, the cochlear maps of humans and mice differ significantly, with similar cochlear distances mapping to a narrower range of best frequencies in humans than in mice. By coupling different frequency ranges, TM waves could contribute to differences in frequency tuning in mammals, with the smaller human range of frequencies corresponding to sharper frequency tuning.

    Original languageEnglish (US)
    Title of host publicationTo the Ear and Back Again - Advances in Auditory Biophysics
    Subtitle of host publicationProceedings of the 13th Mechanics of Hearing Workshop
    EditorsChristopher Bergevin, Sunil Puria
    PublisherAmerican Institute of Physics Inc.
    ISBN (Electronic)9780735416703
    StatePublished - May 31 2018
    Event13th Mechanics of Hearing Workshop: To the Ear and Back Again - Advances in Auditory Biophysics, MoH 2017 - St. Catharines, Canada
    Duration: Jun 19 2017Jun 24 2017

    Publication series

    NameAIP Conference Proceedings
    ISSN (Print)0094-243X
    ISSN (Electronic)1551-7616


    Other13th Mechanics of Hearing Workshop: To the Ear and Back Again - Advances in Auditory Biophysics, MoH 2017
    CitySt. Catharines

    ASJC Scopus subject areas

    • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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