Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

pp 1-5

Date: Latest Version

Neuromorphic Sensors, Cochlea

  • Shih-Chii LiuAffiliated withUniversity of Zurich and ETH Zurich Email author 
  • , André van SchaikAffiliated withUniversity of Western Sydney


Event-driven artificial cochleas; Silicon cochleas; Spiking cochleas


The biological cochlea is a bony, fluid-filled structure in the inner ear. It performs the transduction between the pressure signal representing the acoustic input and the neural signals that carry information to the brain. The cochlea is spiraled from the base to the apex, containing approximately 2.5 turns. The internal part of the cochlea is divided into three chambers (scalae): scala vestibuli, scala media, and scala tympani; Reissner’s membrane separates the first chamber from the second chamber, and the basilar membrane (BM) separates the second and third chambers. A specialized structure, the organ of Corti, sits atop the basilar membrane. It contains both the inner and outer hair cells (IHCs and OHCs, respectively). The tips of these cells have hairlike structures, called stereocilia. Deflections in the stereocilia of the IHCs generate neural signals that travel to the brain. Neural signals fr ...

This is an excerpt from the content