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Chaire Blaise-Pascal de Jonathan Ashmore

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The mechanics of hearing and sound amplification by the cochlea
Jonathan Ashmore (Univ. College London)

11 décembre 2008

Premier exposé présenté par Jonathan Ashmore dans le cadre du séminaire complémentaire, Physiologie cochléaire : actualités, du cours 2008–09 de Christine Petit, professeur titulaire de la chaire Génétique et physiologie cellulaire au Collège de France.
This lecture covers the question of how the cochlea amplifies incoming sound. It is now well appreciated that the inner ear contains a biological hearing aid which is responsible for amplifying sound and without this process we are effectively deaf. The cellular basis of this mechanism originates from the operation of the cochlear outer hair cells, a specialised population of cells found in mammals. These cells are fast force generators and can feed back energy into the otherwise passive mechanical components of the ear.
I describe some of the recent findings about outer hair cells, how they depend for their force generation on a motor molecule, named prestin, which has been identified as membrane bound transporter molecule. How such molecules can be used to generate cellular and macroscopic forces will be a central theme of this lecture.
The lecture will be prefaced by a short discussion on a recent mathematical model which suggest that the coiling of the mammalian cochlea can assist low frequency hearing.

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Non disponible Jonathan Ashmore (Univ. College London)
Jonathan Ashmore is Bernard Katz Professor of Biophysics au Ear Institute, University College London (UCL School of Life & Medical Sciences).