In 1924, R. L. Wegel and C. E. Lane1 of the Western Electric Laboratories propounded an interesting theory as to the function of the cochlea. Briefly, the mechanism was explained as follos:
The stapes, in responding to the sound pressure received through the middle ear, is displaced in the oval window, causing a mass movement of the liquid in the scala vestibuli and scala tympani, which except for a small yielding of the labyrinthine walls, results in an equal and opposite displacement of the membrane of the round window. This mass movement of the liquid can take place only by means of the displacement of the basilar membrane or through the helicotrema. If the pressure change is very slow, the movement will take place through the helicotrema. If the pressure change is more rapid, i. e., if the frequency is increased, most of the movement will take place through
WEST R, BARLOW RA. THE NEUROMUSCULAR MECHANISM OF HEARING. Arch Otolaryngol. 1929;9(6):645–653. doi:10.1001/archotol.1929.00620030677007
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