I am reading about the mechanics of the basilar membrane in the inner ear. In various publications, it is said that, at a specific position on the basilar membrane, the outer hair cells are activated by the amount of basilar membrane displacement while the IHC are activited by its velocity.

As far as I know each position on the basilar membrane vibrates at a characteristic frequency. Given that the to-and-fro movements have the same frequency at all sound intensities, isn't the velocity be directly proportional to the membrane displacement? If that is the case, does this mean that the activation curve is steeper at higher frequencies?

Thank you!

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ Interesting question. Can you link those publications and indicate where you found these claims? I'm really curious. $\endgroup$ – AliceD Aug 24 '20 at 18:41
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    $\begingroup$ Dear Alice, please excuse my late response, I was on a holiday. I will find the papers and send you a link as soon as I get the chance. $\endgroup$ – Marina Sep 6 '20 at 19:30
  • $\begingroup$ Any chance you can provide those papers by any chance? $\endgroup$ – AliceD Sep 9 '20 at 21:13

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