Hair-bundle Mechanics

Hair Bundle Vestibular Hair Cell Drawing

The hair bundle is the organelle that converts mechanical input into electrical output for transmission to the brain in the auditory, vestibular, and lateral line systems of all vertebrates. The structure of a hair bundle determines its function.

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Mechanics of the Ear

The mammalian cochlear partition drawing

An active process boosts vibrations in the inner ear arising from sound, which largely determine the signal sent to the brain, more than a thousandfold. Although absence of the active process results in profound hearing loss, there is no consensus as to its mechanism.

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Synaptic Dynamics

Synaptic Resonant Frequency Versus Calcium Buffer Chart

The output of the inner ear is filtered by hair-cell synapses. For example, the synapses of some hair cells exhibit frequency selectivity. We are interested in the relationship between inner-ear mechanics, electrical activity, and synaptic dynamics.

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