Motivated by recent experimental results we seek an explanation of asymmetry in the radial profile of basilar membrane vibrations in the inner ear. We study a sequence of one-dimensional beam models which take into account variations in the bending stiffness of the basilar membrane as well as the potential presence of structural hinges. Our results suggest that the main cause of asymmetry is likely to be differences between the boundary conditions at the two extremes of the basilar membrane's width. This has fundamental implications for more detailed numerical simulations of the entire cochlea.
Additional information: Preprint of a paper later updated in August, 2003 and subsequently published by the American Institute of Physics, (2004) Journal of the Acoustical Society of America 116 (2), pp. 1025-1034. ISSN 0001-4966
- theoretical vibrating systems, vibrations of strings rods, and beams, cochlear mechanics, experimental vibrating systems