Middle-ear transmission in humans: Wide-band, not frequency-tuned?

Mario A. Ruggero*, Andrei N. Temchin

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

13 Scopus citations


Postmortem and in vivo vibration responses to sound of the stapes and the umbo of human ears are surveyed. The magnitudes of umbo velocity responses recorded postmortem decay between 1 and 5 or 10 kHz at rates between 0 and -3 dB/octave. In contrast, the magnitudes of in vivo umbo vibration are relatively invariant over a wide frequency range, amply exceeding the bandwidth of the audiogram according to one report. Similarly, most studies of postmortem stapes vibration report velocities tuned to about 1 kHz, with magnitudes that decay at a rate of about -6 dB/octave at higher frequencies. In contrast, in vivo stapes responses are apparently only mildly tuned. We conjecture that the bandwidth of stapes vibration velocity in humans will eventually be shown to exceed the bandwidth of the audiogram, in line with findings in other amniotic vertebrates.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)53-58
Number of pages6
JournalAcoustic Research Letters Online
StatePublished - Mar 3 2003

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Physics and Astronomy(all)


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