The Journal of Laryngology & Otology

Session I. Mechanics of Tinnitus - Theory and Fact (Chairman: J. Vernon)

Tinnitus: some thoughts about its origin

J. J. Eggermonta1

a1 (Nijmegen, The Netherlands)

An auditory sensation follows generally as the result of the sequence stimulus, transduction, coding, transformation and sensation. This is then optionally followed by perception and a reaction. The stimulus is usually airborne sound causing movements of the tympanic membrane, the middle ear ossicles, the inner ear fluids and the basilar membrane. The movements of the basilar membrane are dependent on stimulus frequency: high frequency tones excite only the basal part of the cochlea, regardless of the stimulus intensity; low frequency tones at low levels only excite the so-called place specific region at the apical end but at high levels (above 60–70 dB SPL) cause appreciable movement of the entire basilar membrane. Basilar membrane tuning is as sharp as that of inner hair cells or auditory nerve fibers (Sellick et al., 1982) at least in the basal turn of animals that have a cochlea in physiologically impeccable condition.

(Online publication May 27 2011)

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