IN ORDER to explain many of the unanswered questions pertaining to the functioning of the mechanism of the ear as it pertains to practical otolagic diagnosis, the following hypothesis has been propounded. The basis for it was initially presented by von Békésy1 in his original work on the reception of sound by bone conduction.
First, one may look on the cochlea as being made up of two ideally symmetric cavities, separated by a uniformly flexible basilar membrane except for an analogous helicotrema and terminated in two similar membranous windows having the same elastic properties. This concept is diagrammatically shown in figure 1A, which depicts a cross section. Now, if the bony side walls of such a cavity were made to vibrate by a source of sound applied to the skull containing such a cochlea, it should be evident that the side walls would be alternately compressed