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March 1940


Author Affiliations

From the Department of Surgery of the University of Chicago.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1940;31(3):467-477. doi:10.1001/archotol.1940.00660010471009

In preparing a discussion of the challenging theme of this symposium, we were guided by an old Greek dictum:

"The rudiments must be strongest."

In the realm of auditory research a multitude of complicated acoustic phenomena is being studied and analyzed for which adequate knowledge of the fundamental principles is not yet available. Therefore, in naming a most desirable "next step in auditory research," a better understanding of the cochlea and its mechanical functioning is chosen without much hesitation. This paper attempts to describe experimental possibilities for the study of the function of the cochlea.

It is evident that the first stages in the process of hearing are physical, the transmission of acoustic energy from the external medium to the nerve endings in the cochlea. It is common to identify the anatomic term "middle ear" with the functional meaning "sound conduction apparatus." Similarly "inner ear" and "sound perception apparatus" are