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Dancing ear cell
Santos-Sacchi, Joseph
  • The cochlea of a guinea pig ear contains thousands of hair cells that transduce mechanical forces into electrical impulses (which are interpreted by the brain as sound). Two populations of hair cells exist: The outer hair cells (one of which is featured in this sequence) and the inner hair cells. The original vibrations of, say, a violin, cause the tympanic membrane to move, setting up pressure waves in the auditory canal, which are, in turn, converted into pressure waves in the fluid-filled inner ear. The hair cells that line the cochlea are associated with sensory neurons at their basal ends, and have mechanosensitive stereocilia on their apical surfaces. When these stereocilia bend in response to pressure waves, the cell responds by opening and closing ion channels, leading to current and voltage changes. This modulation of the membrane potential leads to changes in transmitter release onto the sensory neurons, signaling the brain. What you are seeing in this video is the response of an outer hair cell to voltage changes in its membrane. This response is the 'dancing' we see on the screen. These electrical changes (created by playing music to the cell) are being artificially fed to the cell through the electrode, bypassing the normal mechanical stimulation of the stereocilia
  • Componente Curricular::Educação Superior::Ciências Biológicas::Biologia Geral
Issue Date: 
  • 12-May-2009
  • 12-May-2009
  • Nov-2007
  • 12-May-2009
  • 2-Oct-2008
The American Society for Cell Biology, ASBC Image & Video Library
  • Cell
  • Educação Superior::Ciências Biológicas::Biologia Geral
To show the response of an outer hair cell to voltage changes in its membrane
Duration: 1 min, 38 s. According to the site, The American Society for Cell Biology ASBC Image & Video Library, this video is the series [Cellebration; I. Cells make a body; 3]. To visualize this source its necessary the instalation of Quick time. Available at: <>
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Appears in Collections:MEC - Objetos Educacionais (BIOE) - OE

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