Intracellular recordings were obtained from inner hair cells located in the lower basal turn of the guinea pig cochlea. At low sound pressure levels the inner hair cells were highly frequency selective, producing receptor potentials only in response to sound frequencies between about 16 and 24 kilohertz. Electrical stimulation of efferent nerves in the crossed olivocochlear bundle markedly reduced these receptor potentials while causing little change in the resting membrane potential. At high sound levels, where cells responded to an increasingly wider range of sound frequencies, stimulation was less effective in reducing receptor potentials. Since the crossed olivocochlear bundle primarily innervates outer hair cells, these results support an outer hair cell contribution to the most sensitive response region of inner hair cells.
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