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Basilar Membrane: A basement membrane in the cochlea that supports the hair cells of the ORGAN OF CORTI, consisting keratin-like fibrils. It stretches from the SPIRAL LAMINA to the basilar crest. The movement of fluid in the cochlea, induced by sound, causes displacement of the basilar membrane and subsequent stimulation of the attached hair cells which transform the mechanical signal into neural activity.Cochlea: The part of the inner ear (LABYRINTH) that is concerned with hearing. It forms the anterior part of the labyrinth, as a snail-like structure that is situated almost horizontally anterior to the VESTIBULAR LABYRINTH.Organ of Corti: The spiral EPITHELIUM containing sensory AUDITORY HAIR CELLS and supporting cells in the cochlea. Organ of Corti, situated on the BASILAR MEMBRANE and overlaid by a gelatinous TECTORIAL MEMBRANE, converts sound-induced mechanical waves to neural impulses to the brain.Stapes: One of the three ossicles of the middle ear. It transmits sound vibrations from the INCUS to the internal ear (Ear, Internal see LABYRINTH).Cochlear Microphonic Potentials: The electric response of the cochlear hair cells to acoustic stimulation.Chinchilla: A genus of the family Chinchillidae which consists of three species: C. brevicaudata, C. lanigera, and C. villidera. They are used extensively in biomedical research.Tectorial Membrane: A membrane, attached to the bony SPIRAL LAMINA, overlying and coupling with the hair cells of the ORGAN OF CORTI in the inner ear. It is a glycoprotein-rich keratin-like layer containing fibrils embedded in a dense amorphous substance.Hair Cells, Auditory, Outer: Sensory cells of organ of Corti. In mammals, they are usually arranged in three or four rows, and away from the core of spongy bone (the modiolus), lateral to the INNER AUDITORY HAIR CELLS and other supporting structures. Their cell bodies and STEREOCILIA increase in length from the cochlear base toward the apex and laterally across the rows, allowing differential responses to various frequencies of sound.Hearing: The ability or act of sensing and transducing ACOUSTIC STIMULATION to the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM. It is also called audition.Vibration: A continuing periodic change in displacement with respect to a fixed reference. (McGraw-Hill Dictionary of Scientific and Technical Terms, 6th ed)Gerbillinae: A subfamily of the Muridae consisting of several genera including Gerbillus, Rhombomys, Tatera, Meriones, and Psammomys.Otoacoustic Emissions, Spontaneous: Self-generated faint acoustic signals from the inner ear (COCHLEA) without external stimulation. These faint signals can be recorded in the EAR CANAL and are indications of active OUTER AUDITORY HAIR CELLS. Spontaneous otoacoustic emissions are found in all classes of land vertebrates.Acoustic Stimulation: Use of sound to elicit a response in the nervous system.Ear Canal: The narrow passage way that conducts the sound collected by the EAR AURICLE to the TYMPANIC MEMBRANE.Auditory Threshold: The audibility limit of discriminating sound intensity and pitch.Round Window, Ear: Fenestra of the cochlea, an opening in the basal wall between the MIDDLE EAR and the INNER EAR, leading to the cochlea. It is closed by a secondary tympanic membrane.Hair Cells, Auditory: Sensory cells in the organ of Corti, characterized by their apical stereocilia (hair-like projections). The inner and outer hair cells, as defined by their proximity to the core of spongy bone (the modiolus), change morphologically along the COCHLEA. Towards the cochlear apex, the length of hair cell bodies and their apical STEREOCILIA increase, allowing differential responses to various frequencies of sound.Labyrinthine Fluids: Fluids found within the osseous labyrinth (PERILYMPH) and the membranous labyrinth (ENDOLYMPH) of the inner ear. (From Gray's Anatomy, 30th American ed, p1328, 1332)Perceptual Distortion: Lack of correspondence between the way a stimulus is commonly perceived and the way an individual perceives it under given conditions.Sound: A type of non-ionizing radiation in which energy is transmitted through solid, liquid, or gas as compression waves. Sound (acoustic or sonic) radiation with frequencies above the audible range is classified as ultrasonic. Sound radiation below the audible range is classified as infrasonic.Membranes: Thin layers of tissue which cover parts of the body, separate adjacent cavities, or connect adjacent structures.Vestibulocochlear Nerve: The 8th cranial nerve. The vestibulocochlear nerve has a cochlear part (COCHLEAR NERVE) which is concerned with hearing and a vestibular part (VESTIBULAR NERVE) which mediates the sense of balance and head position. The fibers of the cochlear nerve originate from neurons of the SPIRAL GANGLION and project to the cochlear nuclei (COCHLEAR NUCLEUS). The fibers of the vestibular nerve arise from neurons of Scarpa's ganglion and project to the VESTIBULAR NUCLEI.Hair Cells, Auditory, Inner: Auditory sensory cells of organ of Corti, usually placed in one row medially to the core of spongy bone (the modiolus). Inner hair cells are in fewer numbers than the OUTER AUDITORY HAIR CELLS, and their STEREOCILIA are approximately twice as thick as those of the outer hair cells.Interferometry: Measurement of distances or movements by means of the phenomena caused by the interference of two rays of light (optical interferometry) or of sound (acoustic interferometry).Scala Tympani: The lower chamber of the COCHLEA, extending from the round window to the helicotrema (the opening at the apex that connects the PERILYMPH-filled spaces of scala tympani and SCALA VESTIBULI).Spiral Ligament of Cochlea: A spiral thickening of the fibrous lining of the cochlear wall. Spiral ligament secures the membranous COCHLEAR DUCT to the bony spiral canal of the COCHLEA. Its spiral ligament fibrocytes function in conjunction with the STRIA VASCULARIS to mediate cochlear ion homeostasis.Acoustics: The branch of physics that deals with sound and sound waves. In medicine it is often applied in procedures in speech and hearing studies. With regard to the environment, it refers to the characteristics of a room, auditorium, theatre, building, etc. that determines the audibility or fidelity of sounds in it. (From Random House Unabridged Dictionary, 2d ed)Membrane Lipids: Lipids, predominantly phospholipids, cholesterol and small amounts of glycolipids found in membranes including cellular and intracellular membranes. These lipids may be arranged in bilayers in the membranes with integral proteins between the layers and peripheral proteins attached to the outside. Membrane lipids are required for active transport, several enzymatic activities and membrane formation.Cell Membrane: The lipid- and protein-containing, selectively permeable membrane that surrounds the cytoplasm in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cells.Tympanic Membrane: An oval semitransparent membrane separating the external EAR CANAL from the tympanic cavity (EAR, MIDDLE). It contains three layers: the skin of the external ear canal; the core of radially and circularly arranged collagen fibers; and the MUCOSA of the middle ear.Intracellular Membranes: Thin structures that encapsulate subcellular structures or ORGANELLES in EUKARYOTIC CELLS. They include a variety of membranes associated with the CELL NUCLEUS; the MITOCHONDRIA; the GOLGI APPARATUS; the ENDOPLASMIC RETICULUM; LYSOSOMES; PLASTIDS; and VACUOLES.Guinea Pigs: A common name used for the genus Cavia. The most common species is Cavia porcellus which is the domesticated guinea pig used for pets and biomedical research.Cochlear Nerve: The cochlear part of the 8th cranial nerve (VESTIBULOCOCHLEAR NERVE). The cochlear nerve fibers originate from neurons of the SPIRAL GANGLION and project peripherally to cochlear hair cells and centrally to the cochlear nuclei (COCHLEAR NUCLEUS) of the BRAIN STEM. They mediate the sense of hearing.Membrane Potentials: The voltage differences across a membrane. For cellular membranes they are computed by subtracting the voltage measured outside the membrane from the voltage measured inside the membrane. They result from differences of inside versus outside concentration of potassium, sodium, chloride, and other ions across cells' or ORGANELLES membranes. For excitable cells, the resting membrane potentials range between -30 and -100 millivolts. Physical, chemical, or electrical stimuli can make a membrane potential more negative (hyperpolarization), or less negative (depolarization).Pitch Perception: A dimension of auditory sensation varying with cycles per second of the sound stimulus.Psychoacoustics: The science pertaining to the interrelationship of psychologic phenomena and the individual's response to the physical properties of sound.Membranes, Artificial: Artificially produced membranes, such as semipermeable membranes used in artificial kidney dialysis (RENAL DIALYSIS), monomolecular and bimolecular membranes used as models to simulate biological CELL MEMBRANES. These membranes are also used in the process of GUIDED TISSUE REGENERATION.Motion: Physical motion, i.e., a change in position of a body or subject as a result of an external force. It is distinguished from MOVEMENT, a process resulting from biological activity.Evoked Potentials, Auditory: The electric response evoked in the CEREBRAL CORTEX by ACOUSTIC STIMULATION or stimulation of the AUDITORY PATHWAYS.Ear, Inner: The essential part of the hearing organ consists of two labyrinthine compartments: the bony labyrinthine and the membranous labyrinth. The bony labyrinth is a complex of three interconnecting cavities or spaces (COCHLEA; VESTIBULAR LABYRINTH; and SEMICIRCULAR CANALS) in the TEMPORAL BONE. Within the bony labyrinth lies the membranous labyrinth which is a complex of sacs and tubules (COCHLEAR DUCT; SACCULE AND UTRICLE; and SEMICIRCULAR DUCTS) forming a continuous space enclosed by EPITHELIUM and connective tissue. These spaces are filled with LABYRINTHINE FLUIDS of various compositions.Lasers: An optical source that emits photons in a coherent beam. Light Amplification by Stimulated Emission of Radiation (LASER) is brought about using devices that transform light of varying frequencies into a single intense, nearly nondivergent beam of monochromatic radiation. Lasers operate in the infrared, visible, ultraviolet, or X-ray regions of the spectrum.Models, Biological: Theoretical representations that simulate the behavior or activity of biological processes or diseases. For disease models in living animals, DISEASE MODELS, ANIMAL is available. Biological models include the use of mathematical equations, computers, and other electronic equipment.Erythrocyte Membrane: The semi-permeable outer structure of a red blood cell. It is known as a red cell 'ghost' after HEMOLYSIS.Membrane Fluidity: The motion of phospholipid molecules within the lipid bilayer, dependent on the classes of phospholipids present, their fatty acid composition and degree of unsaturation of the acyl chains, the cholesterol concentration, and temperature.Biomechanical Phenomena: The properties, processes, and behavior of biological systems under the action of mechanical forces.Auditory Pathways: NEURAL PATHWAYS and connections within the CENTRAL NERVOUS SYSTEM, beginning at the hair cells of the ORGAN OF CORTI, continuing along the eighth cranial nerve, and terminating at the AUDITORY CORTEX.Mechanotransduction, Cellular: The process by which cells convert mechanical stimuli into a chemical response. It can occur in both cells specialized for sensing mechanical cues such as MECHANORECEPTORS, and in parenchymal cells whose primary function is not mechanosensory.Cell Membrane Permeability: A quality of cell membranes which permits the passage of solvents and solutes into and out of cells.Perceptual Masking: The interference of one perceptual stimulus with another causing a decrease or lessening in perceptual effectiveness.Basement Membrane: A darkly stained mat-like EXTRACELLULAR MATRIX (ECM) that separates cell layers, such as EPITHELIUM from ENDOTHELIUM or a layer of CONNECTIVE TISSUE. The ECM layer that supports an overlying EPITHELIUM or ENDOTHELIUM is called basal lamina. Basement membrane (BM) can be formed by the fusion of either two adjacent basal laminae or a basal lamina with an adjacent reticular lamina of connective tissue. BM, composed mainly of TYPE IV COLLAGEN; glycoprotein LAMININ; and PROTEOGLYCAN, provides barriers as well as channels between interacting cell layers.Feedback: A mechanism of communication within a system in that the input signal generates an output response which returns to influence the continued activity or productivity of that system.