Reverse propagation of sound in the gerbil cochlea

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134 Scopus citations


It is commonly believed that the cochlea emits sounds through backward-traveling waves. In the present experiment using a scanning-laser interferometer, I detected forward-traveling but not backward-traveling waves and found that the stapes vibrates earlier than the basilar membrane. These results contradict the current theory and show that the ear emits sounds through the cochlear fluids as compression waves rather than along the basilar membrane as backward-traveling waves.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)333-334
Number of pages2
JournalNature Neuroscience
Issue number4
StatePublished - Apr 2004

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • General Neuroscience


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