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September 1934


Author Affiliations

From the Departments of Physiology and of Otology and Laryngology, Harvard Medical School.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1934;20(3):390-395. doi:10.1001/archotol.1934.03600030095008

Our experiments on the auditory mechanism have recently been directed toward two main objectives: (1) to examine the action potentials of the auditory nerve in relation to the frequency, intensity and duration of the stimulating sound, and (2) to determine the relation of the electrical response of the cochlea to the initiation of these nerve impulses. Establishment of these relationships should go far toward elucidating the physiology of the organs of hearing and clarifying the auditory theory.

It has already been established1 that the cochlear response differs fundamentally from the action potentials of nerve and muscle: 1. It shows no characteristic wave form of its own, but reproduces that of the stimulus. 2. It is not followed by a refractory period. 3. It is immune to fatigue, anesthesia and cold. 4. It may begin by either a positive or a negative electrical change depending on whether the initial stimulating

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