Modeling the Noise Damaged Cochlea

  • Jont B. Allen
Part of the Lecture Notes in Biomathematics book series (LNBM, volume 87)


The purpose of this paper is to present a specific model (Allen, 1980) of the cochlea which replicates normal cat threshold neural tuning curves. This model is first introduced as a linear passive model. In the process of fitting the model to the neural data, it was discovered that changes in the basilar membrane stiffness could modify the model cilia frequency response in a manner similar to the noise damaged neural tuning curves of Liberman and Dodds (1984). Liberman and Dodds found that the tips of the tuning curves become elevated by more than 40 dB, and the tails become hypersensitive by about 10 dB, after a noise trauma that damages the outer hair cells. After recording tuning curves from the noise damaged cells, they found a systematic loss of outer and/or inner hair cells associated with the noise trauma neurons. They then correlated the hair cell loss to the frequency response of the associated tuning curves. In this paper we model the Liberman and Dodds noise damaged tuning curves by associating the loss of normal outer hair cells with a decrease in the basilar membrane stiffness (increased compliance).


Hair Cell Outer Hair Cell Basilar Membrane Tuning Curve Hearing Research 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Allen, Jont B. (1980). “Cochlear micromechanics - A physical model of transduction,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 68(6) 1660–1670.Google Scholar
  2. Allen, JontB. (1988). “Cochlear signal processing,” Physiology oflhe Ear, edited by A. F. Jahn and J. Santos–Sacchi, Raven Press, New York, 243–270.Google Scholar
  3. Brownell, W.E., Bader, C.R., Bertran,D., and de Rabaupierre, Y. (1985). “Evoked mechanical responses of isolated cochlear outer hair cells,” Science, 227 194–196.Google Scholar
  4. Dallos, Peter (1984). “Some electrical circuit properties of the organ of Corti. II. Analysis including reactive elements,” Hearing Research 14 281–291.Google Scholar
  5. Denk, W. and Watt, W.W. (1989). “Thcrmal-noise-limited transduction observed in mechanosensory receptors of the inner ear,” Physical Review Letters 63 207–210.Google Scholar
  6. Hudspeth, A. J. (1983). “Mechanoelectrical Transduction by Hair Cells in the acousticolateralis Sensory System,” Annu. Rev. Neurosci., 6 187–215.Google Scholar
  7. Liberman, M. C. and Dodds, L. (1984). “Single Neuron Labeling and Chronic Cochlear Pathology ill: Stereocilia Damage and Alterations of Threshold Tuning Curves,” Hearing Research 16 55–74.Google Scholar
  8. Mountain, D.C., and Hubbard, A.E. (1989). “Rapid force production in the cochlea,” Hearing Research 42 195–202.Google Scholar
  9. Neely, S.T. and Kim, D. O. (1983). “An active cochlear model showing sharp tuning and high sensitivity,” Hearing Research. 9 123–130.Google Scholar
  10. Nuttal, F., Dolan, D. F., and Avinash, G. (1990). “Doppler Vibrometer Measurements of Basilar Membrane Motion in the Guinea Pig.” abstract 293, poster 23, 13th ARO Midwinter Meeting.; See paper in this proceedings.Google Scholar
  11. Patuzzi, R. B., Yates, G. K., and Johnstone, B. M. (1989). “Outer hair cell receptor current and sensorineural hearing loss,” Hearing Research 42 47–72.Google Scholar
  12. Puria S., and Allen, Jom B. (1990). “A Parametric Study of the Cochlear Input Impedance,” J. Acoust Soc. Am., In PressGoogle Scholar
  13. Robles, L., Ruggero, M.A., Rich, N.C. (1986). “Basilar membrane mechanics at the base of the chinchilla cochlea. I. Input–output functions, tuning curves, and response phases,” J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 801364–1374.Google Scholar
  14. Santos-Sacchi,J. and Dilger J. P. (1987). “Whole cell currents and mechanical responses of isolated outer hair cells,” Hearing Research 35, 143–150.Google Scholar
  15. Sellick, P.M., Patuzzi, R., and Johnstone, B.M. (1983). “Comparison between the tuning properties of inner haircells and basilar membrane motion,” Hearing Research 1093–100.Google Scholar
  16. Sondhi, M. M. (1979). “Method for computing motion in a two-dimensional cochlear model,” J. Acoust Soc. Am.63 1468–1477Google Scholar
  17. Wilson, J.P. (1980). “The combination tone, 2J1 – 2, in psychophysics and ear–canal recording,” m PsychophySICal and PhYSIOlogIcal and Behavwral sludles m Hearing. edited by G. van den Brink and F. A. Bilsen, Delft Univ. Press.Google Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 1990

Authors and Affiliations

  • Jont B. Allen
    • 1
  1. 1.Acoustics Research Dept.AT&T Bell LabsMurray HillUSA

Personalised recommendations