Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Feedback system protects ear against damage

A new discovery summarized in the current edition of PLoS Biology reveals an interesting mechanism that helps to protect the spiral organ of the ear against damage from exposure to loud sounds.

According to the article, the cilia of the outer hair cells in the spiral organ (of Corti) change their ability to lengthen when triggered by acetylcholine released in a feedback response to loud noises. This mechanism thus reduces vibrations in the inner ear and thereby protects the sensitive structures from further damage.

Find out more in this brief and well-written summary:

Feedback System Protects Inner Ear
Richard Robinson

PLoS Biology Volume 7(1) January 2009


If your inner ear is undamaged by loud sounds, you may want to try clicking the Talkr icon at the end of this message to hear this article.

For more FREE journals like PLoS Biology, see my growing listing at The A&P Professor website.

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