Exploring the Role of Mechanotransduction Activation and Adaptation Kinetics in Hair Cell Filtering Using a Hodgkin-Huxley Approach Conference Paper uri icon


  • In the auditory system, mechanotransduction occurs in the hair cell sensory hair bundle and is the first major step in the translation of mechanical energy into electrical. Tonotopic variations in the activation kinetics of this process are posited to provide a low pass filter to the input. An adaptation process, also associated with mechanotransduction, is postulated to provide a high pass filter to the input in a tonotopic manner. Together a bandpass filter is created at the hair cell input. Corresponding mechanical components to both activation and adaptation are also suggested to be involved in generating cochlear amplification. A paradox to this story is that hair cells where the mechanotransduction properties are most robust possess an intrinsic electrical resonance mechanism proposed to account for all required tuning and amplification. A simple Hodgkin-Huxley type model is presented to attempt to determine the role of the activation and adaptation kinetics in further tuning hair cells that exhibit electrical resonance. Results further support that steady state mechanotransduction properties are critical for setting the resting potential of the hair cell while the kinetics of activation and adaptation are important for sharpening tuning around the characteristic frequency of the hair cell. 2011 American Institute of Physics.

name of conference

  • WHAT FIRE IS IN MINE EARS: PROGRESS IN AUDITORY BIOMECHANICS: Proceedings of the 11th International Mechanics of Hearing Workshop

published proceedings


author list (cited authors)

  • Wells, G. B., & Ricci, A. J.

citation count

  • 0

complete list of authors

  • Wells, Gregg B||Ricci, Anthony J

publication date

  • January 2011