Living Reference Work Entry

Encyclopedia of Computational Neuroscience

pp 1-4

Date: Latest Version

Cochlear Inner Hair Cell, Model

  • Enrique A. Lopez-PovedaAffiliated withInstituto de Neurociencias de Castilla y Leon, Instituto de Investigación Biomédica de Salamanca, Departamento de Cirugía, Facultad de Medicina, University of Salamanca Email author 


Auditory sensory receptor cell, model; Auditory transducer, model


An algorithmic description of how deflections of the stereocilia in an auditory sensory receptor cell, or cochlear inner hair cell, cause fluctuations in the cell’s intracellular voltage or receptor potential.

Detailed Description

Cochlear inner hair cells (IHCs) are auditory sensory receptor cells located in the organ of Corti. They have stereocilia that deflect following mechanical motion of the organ of Corti (Fig. 1). The fluid surrounding the stereocilia bundle, the endolymph, has a positive electrical potential (80–120 mV), while the electrical potential within the IHC is negative at rest (around −60 mV). Stereocilia deflection toward the tallest cilium in the bundle increases the inward flow of positive ions, mostly potassium (K+), and thus increases the cell’s intracellular potential. This mechanism effectively transduces a mechanical signal (stereocilia motion) into an electrical signal (the IHC i ...

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