The mammalian cochlea is an acoustic spectrum analyzer and pressure transducer with a remarkable operating range, both in frequency and amplitude (Fettiplace & Hackney, 2006). A young healthy human ear can capture sounds of 40 to 20,000 Hz in frequency and 20 μPa to 20 Pa (0 to 120 dB sound pressure level) in amplitude. In research on the cochlea, one of the most significant achievements in decades is the identification of the cochlear amplifier. Tiny acoustic vibrations are amplified in the organ of Corti (OC)—sensori-eptithelium in the cochlea. Mechano-transducer receptors in the OC, called the outer hair cells, have been identified as the cellular actuators that provide energy to boost small pressure waves. However, how the amplification is achieved is still unclear.

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