Does electrical stimulation of the crossed olivo-cochlear bundle produce movement of the organ of Corti?

R. Patuzzi, R. Rajan

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Low-frequency microphonic waveforms have been recorded in the basal turn of the guinea pig cochlea with and without electrical stimulation of the crossed olivocochlear bundle (COCB) at the floor of the fourth ventricle. Stimulation of the COCB increased the amplitude of the microphonic waveforms as described previously, but did not alter the shape of the waveforms markedly. The changes observed with COCB stimulation are consistent with a reduction in the impedance of the basolateral wall of the outer hair cells by about 50%, and possibly a 20% increase in the vibration of the organ of Corti at low frequencies, but suggest little or no change in the operating point on the transfer curve relating deflection of the hair bundles to the receptor current through the hair cells. It therefore seems that if slow contraction of the outer hair cells occurs during acute efferent stimulation in vivo, then it produces only a small deflection of the outer hair cell stereocilia, equivalent to a transverse displacement of the organ of Corti of less than 1.5 nm.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)15-32
Number of pages18
JournalHearing Research
Issue number1-2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1990


  • Cochlear microphonic
  • Efferent fibres
  • Hair cells, outer
  • Slow contraction

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