The effects of cochlear hypothermia on compound action potential tuning

Susan E. Shore, Alfred L. Nuttall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The effects of lowered cochlear temperature on eighth-nerve tuning were assessed by using forward masking of whole nerve action potential (AP) responses to generate AP tuning curves (APTCs) at cochlear temperatures ranging from 38.5° to 30 °C for probe frequencies from 8 to 36 kHz. The data indicate that subnormal cochlear temperatures result in: (a) broadened APTCs for probe frequencies above 10 kHz which are interpreted as resulting from reduced hair-cell frequency selectivity, (b) lowered or more sensitive APTC tips where tone-burst thresholds are unchanged, and (c) raised or less sensitive tips where thresholds to tone bursts were elevated. Increased tip sensitivity is explained in terms of enhanced eighth-nerve adaptation which occurred during hypothermia. Experiments directly addressing adaptation were performed, in which the masker-probe interval (Δt) was systematically lengthened. The normalized AP decrement versus At functions indicate an enhancement of both the amount and duration of adaptation during hypothermia. Functions relating the growth of response to the masker (AP decrement versus masker intensity functions) were reduced at low temperatures.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)590-598
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of the Acoustical Society of America
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 1985
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Arts and Humanities (miscellaneous)
  • Acoustics and Ultrasonics


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