Hair-cell mechanotransduction and cochlear amplification

Meredith LeMasurier, Peter G. Gillespie

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

135 Scopus citations


In the inner ear, sensory hair cells not only detect but also amplify the softest sounds, allowing us to hear over an extraordinarily wide intensity range. This amplification is frequency specific, giving rise to exquisite frequency discrimination. Hair cells detect sounds with their mechanotransduction apparatus, which is only now being dissected molecularly. Signal detection is not the only role of this molecular network; amplification of low-amplitude signals by hair bundles seems to be universal in hair cells. "Fast adaptation," the rapid closure of transduction channels following a mechanical stimulus, appears to be intimately involved in bundle-based amplification.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)403-415
Number of pages13
Issue number3
StatePublished - Nov 3 2005

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Neuroscience(all)


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