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Proceedings Paper

Spontaneous oscillations in mechanosensory hair bundles (Keynote Address)
Author(s): Bjorn Nadrowski; Pascal Martin; Frank Julicher
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Paper Abstract

The ear relies on nonlinear amplification to enhance its sensitivity and frequency selectivity. It has been suggested that this active process results from dynamical systems which oscillate spontaneously. In the bullfrog sacculus, hair bundles, which are the mechanosensitive elements of sensory hair cells display noisy oscillations. These oscillations can be described in a simple model which takes into account the properties of mechanosensitive ion channels coupled to motor proteins which are regulated by inflowing Ca2+ ions. The role of fluctuations can be studied by adding random forcing terms with characteristic amplitudes that result from the number and properties of ion channels and motor molecules. This description can account quantitatively for the experimentally measured linear and nonlinear response functions and reveals the relevance of fluctuations for signal detection.

Paper Details

Date Published: 23 May 2005
PDF: 6 pages
Proc. SPIE 5841, Fluctuations and Noise in Biological, Biophysical, and Biomedical Systems III, (23 May 2005); doi: 10.1117/12.611198
Show Author Affiliations
Bjorn Nadrowski, Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems (Germany)
Pascal Martin, Institut Curie (France)
Frank Julicher, Max Planck Institute for the Physics of Complex Systems (Germany)


Published in SPIE Proceedings Vol. 5841:
Fluctuations and Noise in Biological, Biophysical, and Biomedical Systems III
Nigel G. Stocks; Derek Abbott; Robert P. Morse, Editor(s)

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