Quantitative Reappraisal of the Helmholtz-Guyton Resonance Theory of Frequency Tuning in the CochleaReport as inadecuate

Quantitative Reappraisal of the Helmholtz-Guyton Resonance Theory of Frequency Tuning in the Cochlea - Download this document for free, or read online. Document in PDF available to download.

Journal of BiophysicsVolume 2011 2011, Article ID 435135, 16 pages

Research ArticleWeldon School of Biomedical Engineering and Department of Basic Medical Sciences, Purdue University, 1246 Lynn Hall, West Lafayette, IN 47907-1246, USA

Received 9 April 2011; Accepted 2 August 2011

Academic Editor: P. Bryant Chase

Copyright © 2011 Charles F. Babbs. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


To explore the fundamental biomechanics of sound frequency transduction in the cochlea, a two-dimensional analytical model of the basilar membrane was constructed from first principles. Quantitative analysis showed that axial forces along the membrane are negligible, condensing the problem to a set of ordered one-dimensional models in the radial dimension, for which all parameters can be specified from experimental data. Solutions of the radial models for asymmetrical boundary conditions produce realistic deformation patterns. The resulting second-order differential equations, based on the original concepts of Helmholtz and Guyton, and including viscoelastic restoring forces, predict a frequency map and amplitudes of deflections that are consistent with classical observations. They also predict the effects of an observation hole drilled in the surrounding bone, the effects of curvature of the cochlear spiral, as well as apparent traveling waves under a variety of experimental conditions. A quantitative rendition of the classical Helmholtz-Guyton model captures the essence of cochlear mechanics and unifies the competing resonance and traveling wave theories.

Author: Charles F. Babbs

Source: https://www.hindawi.com/


Related documents