Hearing Mechanism Similar to Battery

Discussion in 'Research News' started by daedalus, Jan 7, 2013.

    1. daedalus

      daedalus Member

      Tinnitus Since:
      A pleasant science daily article.

      "To see how the mechanism of hearing resembles a battery, you need to know that the auditory system of the fruit fly contains a protein that functions as a sodium/potassium pump, often called the sodium pump for short, and is highly expressed in a specialized support cell called the scolopale cell.
      The scolopale cell is important because it wraps around the sensory endings in the fly's ear and makes a tight extra-cellular cavity or compartment around them called the scolopale space.
      "You could think of these compartments as similar to the compartments of a battery that need to be charged up so they can drive electrons through circuits"

    2. mock turtle

      mock turtle Member

      puget sound
      Tinnitus Since:
      07/26/1992...habituated after 2 years; 11/04/11 new outbreak
      daedalus... i wonder if this is why too much salt or too much potassium is known to make the ears ring worse?

      best wishes
    3. DezDog

      DezDog Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      I've always suspected salt (and coffee), but now I've got to watch the banana intake too? What's a minion to do?
    4. Karl

      Karl Member Benefactor

      Tinnitus Since:
      We're getting into some fundamental neural science which I have been reading about lately.

      Not only auditory nerves, but all neurons use the "Na-K" pump to charge up ions inside the cell membrane. The ion charge is released by a protein that effects the porosity of the cell membrane.

      What's interesting is the neurons pump themselves with ions, then suddenly release the charge when a voltage is applied at a dendrite. Then they go back to pumping themselves up again for the next wholop. They can do this as fast as 400 cycles per second.

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