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October 1941


Author Affiliations

From the Division of Otolaryngology, the Division of Psychiatry and the Otho S. A. Sprague Memorial Institute, the University of Chicago.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1941;34(4):710-718. doi:10.1001/archotol.1941.00660040766003

In the last decade in otologic research a large literature has grown out of the study of cochlear potentials in experimental animals. Singularly few observations of the like electrical phenomenon in man have been reported. For several years we have been studying cochlear potentials in animals and in man in order to corroborate the observations of others and to throw more light on the relation of these potentials to hearing. It was also hoped that some clinical application could be found for an objective phenomenon associated with cochlear activity. However, for reasons described in this paper, human subjects suitable for such studies are difficult to obtain, and the work requires close cooperation between the clinical otologist and the neurophysiologist.

In 1935 Fromm, Nylen and Zotterman1 obtained cochlear potentials in 2 subjects with perforated drum membranes. They used a five stage amplifying arrangement and a flexible electrode, placed against the promontory

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