The sensory cilia of the mammalian cochlea show an orderly gradation in height along the length of the cochlea. The cilia are taller in the apex and shorter in the base. Differences in ciliary gradation also exist between the different rows of outer hair cell cilia along the length of the cochlea. There are gradations in width and thickness in the moveable portion of the tectorial membrane paralleling those in the basilar membrane. There are also gradations in the relationship between the tectorial membrane and the slope of the reticular lamina along the length of the cochlea. This suggests that there may be additional mechanical fine-tuning capability built into the organ of Corti besides the basilar membrane. The tectorial membrane is firmly attached to the outer hair cell cilia along the entire length of the cochlea in all species examined. The inner hair cell cilia do not have the same firm attachment to the tectorial membrane as outer hair cell cilia. This suggests that the modes of mechanical coupling between the tectorial membrane and the inner and outer hair cell cilia are different.
ASJC Scopus subject areas
- Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
- Acoustics and Ultrasonics