Cryoprobe-induced apical lesions in the chinchilla. II. Effects on behavioral auditory thresholds

D. W. Smith, J. N. Brown, D. B. Moody, W. C. Stebbins, A. L. Nuttall

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Lesions of the hair cells in the cochlear apex were produced by a miniature cryoprobe and changes in behavioral auditory thresholds were measured. Monauralized adult chinchillas were behaviorally trained using operant procedures to produce pure-tone audiograms at frequencies from 63 Hz to 40 kHz. Following collection of baseline thresholds, the apical and middle turns of the experimental ear were visualized through a hole drilled in the bulla and a copper cryoprobe that had been cooled in liquid nitrogen was placed on the apical turn of the cochlea. Post-lesion threshold shifts from two subjects showed a flat loss of approximately 20 dB restricted to frequencies below either 710 Hz or 1 kHz; thresholds were normal at higher frequencies. The cytocochleograms, prepared from the ears following completion of threshold testing, show an almost complete loss of both inner and outer hair cells in the apical-most 20% of the cochlea with an abrupt transition region to areas of normal-looking hair cell populations. The relationship between the frequencies at which hearing was impaired and the location of missing hair cells along the basilar membrane is in agreement with the frequency-place map for the chinchilla of Eldredge et al. [(1981) J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 69, 1091-1095]. The magnitude of the loss, however, is less than might be expected based on comparison with threshold shifts produced by similar pathology in the basal turns.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)311-317
Number of pages7
JournalHearing Research
Issue number3
StatePublished - 1987
Externally publishedYes


  • Apical hair cell lesion
  • Cryoprobe
  • Low frequency hearing loss

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Sensory Systems


Dive into the research topics of 'Cryoprobe-induced apical lesions in the chinchilla. II. Effects on behavioral auditory thresholds'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this