Bone conduction mechanisms: Mössbauer measurements on the role of ossicular inertia

D. R.F. Irvine, G. K. Yates, B. M. Johnstone

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The Mössbauer technique was used to measure displacements of the stapes footplate and adjacent temporal bone during bone conduction stimulation at frequencies from 250 to 4000 Hz in anaesthetized guinea pigs. The stapes was found not to be driven at amplitudes or phases that differed significantly from those of the temporal bone. Measurement of stapes displacements during air conduction stimulation, and of temporal bone displacements during bone conduction stimulation producing matching cochlear micrpphonic amplitude, enabled calculation of limiting values of amplitude and phase difference necessary to produce the required relative displacement. The obtained values (less than 1 dB for amplitude and 1-4° for phase) were beyond the resolution of the measurement system employed for reasonable nuclear counting times. The results provide quantitative estimates of the magnitude of intertial effects, but do not establish whether ossicular inertia is an important factor in bone conduction stimulation.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)101-109
Number of pages9
JournalHearing Research
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1979


  • bone conduction
  • Mössbauer technique
  • ossicular inertia

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