Title: The Dynamical Basis of Auditory Acuity
Speaker: Marcelo Magnasco, Rockefeller University
Date: Wednesday, September 17, 2003, 1:00 pm
Location: Hill Center, Room 260, Rutgers University, Busch Campus, Piscataway, NJ
We review recent work arguing that the high sensitivity and acuity of vertebrate hearing stems from the elements of the cochlea, the hearing organ, poising themselves on the threshold of an oscillatory instability, called the Hopf bifurcation. I will further present a simple model showing that only two elements are required to establish the cochlear responses: a broadly tuned traveling wave, moving unidirectionally from high to low frequencies, and a set of mechanosensors poised at the Hopf bifurcation. These two components suffice to generate the various frequency-response regimes needed for high acuity.
Seminar sponsored by DIMACS/BIOMAPS Seminar Series on Quantitative Biology and Epidemiology.