How does high-frequency sound or vibration activate vestibular receptors?
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The mechanism by which vestibular neural phase locking occurs and how it relates to classical otolith mechanics is unclear. Here, we put forward the hypothesis that sound and vibration both cause fluid pressure waves in the inner ear and that it is these pressure waves which displace the hair bundles on vestibular receptor hair cells and result in activation of type I receptor hair cells and phase locking of the action potentials in the irregular vestibular afferents, which synapse on type I receptors. This idea has been suggested since the early neural recordings and recent results give it greater credibility.
KeywordsOtolith Utricular Saccular VEMP Hair cell
The location on the forehead in the midline at the hairline
- Fz BCV
Bone-conducted vibration delivered to Fz
Hair cell bundle
Cervical vestibular-evoked myogenic potential
Ocular vestibular-evoked myogenic potential
The initial negative potential of the oVEMP response at a latency of around 10 ms
We are grateful for the support of NH&MRC of Australia (Grants 632746, 1046826) and the Garnett Passe and Rodney Williams Memorial Foundation. We thank Ann Burgess for her excellent help.
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