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The detection of sound begins when energy derived from an acoustic stimulus deflects the hair bundles on top of hair cells. As hair bundles move, the viscous friction between stereocilia and the surrounding liquid poses a fundamental physical challenge to the ear's high sensitivity and sharp frequency selectivity. Part of the solution to this problem lies(More)
BACKGROUND The hearing of tetrapods including humans is enhanced by an active process that amplifies the mechanical inputs associated with sound, sharpens frequency selectivity, and compresses the range of responsiveness. The most striking manifestation of the active process is spontaneous otoacoustic emission, the unprovoked emergence of sound from an ear.(More)
BACKGROUND Hair cells in the auditory, vestibular, and lateral-line systems respond to mechanical stimulation and transmit information to afferent nerve fibers. The sensitivity of mechanoelectrical transduction is modulated by the efferent pathway, whose activity usually reduces the responsiveness of hair cells. The basis of this effect remains unknown. (More)
In addition to their ubiquitous apical-basal polarity, many epithelia are also polarized along an orthogonal axis, a phenomenon termed planar cell polarity (PCP). In the mammalian inner ear and the zebrafish lateral line, PCP is revealed through the orientation of mechanosensitive hair cells relative to each other and to the body axes. In each neuromast,(More)
The auditory-brainstem response (ABR) to short and simple acoustical signals is an important clinical tool used to diagnose the integrity of the brainstem. The ABR is also employed to investigate the auditory brainstem in a multitude of tasks related to hearing, such as processing speech or selectively focusing on one speaker in a noisy environment. Such(More)
The brain's analyses of speech and music share a range of neural resources and mechanisms. Music displays a temporal structure of complexity similar to that of speech, unfolds over comparable timescales, and elicits cognitive demands in tasks involving comprehension and attention. During speech processing, synchronized neural activity of the cerebral cortex(More)
Records of excitatory postsynaptic currents (EPSCs) are often complex, with overlapping signals that display a large range of amplitudes. Statistical analysis of the kinetics and amplitudes of such complex EPSCs is nonetheless essential to the understanding of transmitter release. We therefore developed a maximum-likelihood blind deconvolution algorithm to(More)
An auditory neuron can preserve the temporal fine structure of a low-frequency tone by phase-locking its response to the stimulus. Apart from sound localization, however, much about the role of this temporal information for signal processing in the brain remains unknown. Through psychoacoustic studies we provide direct evidence that humans employ temporal(More)
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