Recordings were made from chinchilla auditory nerve fibers after portions of the cochlear outer hair cell (OHC) population were destroyed with the antibiotic kanamycin. In most cases the inner hair cell (IHC) population was completely preserved as determined by phase-contrast microscopy. We presume that the remaining IHCs are functionally normal, and thus that recordings obtained from fibers originating from the lesioned cochlear segment reflect IHC behavior. On the basis of the data and of the assumptions made it was suggested that outer hair cells provide a frequency-dependent sensitizing influence to the inner hair cells. The frequency dependence could best be expressed as a flat-topped band pass characteristic.
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