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August 1966

Pressure and Shearing Forces as Stimuli of Labyrinthine Epithelium

Author Affiliations

From Harvard University, Cambridge, Mass.

Arch Otolaryngol. 1966;84(2):122-130. doi:10.1001/archotol.1966.00760030124003

THREE hearing theories have been proposed since 1961. One was based on the resonance of the pillars of the organ of Corti, one on the movements of the Hensen cells, and one on the movement of the tectorial membrane. Two of them were not published, but the third, the most assuming one, was published in this journal.1-3

All of them had the aim of explaining pitch resolution by mechanical stimulus localization along the organ of Corti and used comparative anatomy as a tool to eliminate unwanted difficulties. All three dealt with shearing forces and tried to dismiss them. They all forgot to mention how the vibrating stapes foot plate transmits its vibrations without too much energy loss to the pillars of the organ of Corti, the Hensen cells, or the tectorial membrane. And none of the theories contained new experiments but instead were constructed in the library.

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