Non-invasive biophysical measurement of travelling waves in the insect inner ear

Sarria, Fabio and Chivers, Benedict and Soulsbury, Carl and Montealegre-Z, Fernando (2017) Non-invasive biophysical measurement of travelling waves in the insect inner ear. Royal Society Open Science, 4 (170171). ISSN 2054-5703

Full content URL: https://doi.org/10.1098/rsos.170171

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Sarria et al 2017
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Abstract

Frequency analysis in the mammalian cochlea depends on the propagation of frequency information in the form of a
travelling wave (TW) across tonotopically arranged auditory sensilla. TWs have been directly observed in the basilar papilla
of birds and the ears of bush-crickets (Insecta: Orthoptera) and have also been indirectly inferred in the hearing organs of some reptiles and frogs. Existing experimental approaches to measure TW function in tetrapods and bushcrickets
are inherently invasive, compromising the fine-scale mechanics of each system. Located in the forelegs, the bushcricket
ear exhibits outer, middle and inner components; the inner ear containing tonotopically arranged auditory
sensilla within a fluid-filled cavity, and externally protected by the leg cuticle. Here, we report bush-crickets with
transparent ear cuticles as potential model species for direct, non-invasive measuring of TWs and tonotopy. Using laser
Doppler vibrometry and spectroscopy, we show that increased transmittance of light through the ear cuticle allows for
effective non-invasive measurements of TWs and frequency mapping. More transparent cuticles allow several properties
of TWs to be precisely recovered and measured in vivo from intact specimens. Our approach provides an innovative, noninvasive alternative to measure the natural motion of the sensillia-bearing surface embedded in the intact inner ear fluid.

Additional Information:This paper is the product of a PhD project funded by the School of Life Sciences, and constitutes one of the chapters of the thesis manuscript of Mr. Fabio A. Sarria-S.
Keywords:travelling wave, cochlea, tonotopy, laser vibrometry, katydid, bmjdoi
Subjects:C Biological Sciences > C770 Biophysical Science
B Subjects allied to Medicine > B830 Biomechanics, Biomaterials and Prosthetics (non-clinical)
F Physical Sciences > F361 Laser Physics
D Veterinary Sciences, Agriculture and related subjects > D322 Animal Physiology
F Physical Sciences > F380 Acoustics
C Biological Sciences > C340 Entomology
Divisions:College of Science > School of Life Sciences
ID Code:27021
Deposited On:20 Apr 2017 14:35

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