The vibratory responses to tones of the stapes and incus were measured in the middle ears of deeply anesthetized chinchillas using a wide-band acoustic-stimulus system and a laser velocimeter coupled to a microscope. With the laser beam at an angle of about 40 ° relative to the axis of stapes piston-like motion, the sensitivity-vs.-frequency curves of vibrations at the head of the stapes and the incus lenticular process were very similar to each other but larger, in the range 15–30 kHz, than the vibrations of the incus just peripheral to the pedicle. With the laser beam aligned with the axis of piston-like stapes motion, vibrations of the incus just peripheral to its pedicle were very similar to the vibrations of the lenticular process or the stapes head measured at the 40 ° angle. Thus, the pedicle prevents transmission to the stapes of components of incus vibration not aligned with the axis of stapes piston-like motion. The mean magnitude curve of stapes velocities is fairly flat over a wide frequency range, with a mean value of about 0.19 mm.(s Pa−1), has a high-frequency cutoff of 25 kHz (measured at −3 dB re the mean value), and decreases with a slope of about −60 dB/octave at higher frequencies. According to our measurements, the chinchilla middle ear transmits acoustic signals into the cochlea at frequencies exceeding both the bandwidth of responses of auditory-nerve fibers and the upper cutoff of hearing. The phase lags of stapes velocity relative to ear-canal pressure increase approximately linearly, with slopes equivalent to pure delays of about 57–76 μs.
|Original language||English (US)|
|Number of pages||11|
|Journal||JARO - Journal of the Association for Research in Otolaryngology|
|State||Published - Aug 3 2015|
- middle ear
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Sensory Systems