PERSPECTIVES A Functional Perspective on the Evolution of the Cochlea

This review summarizes paleontological data as well as studies on the morphology, function, and molecular evolution of the cochlea of living mammals (monotremes, marsupials, and placentals). The most parsimonious scenario is an early evolution of the characteristic organ of Corti, with inner and outer hair cells and nascent electromotility. Most remaining unique features, such as loss of the lagenar macula, coiling of the cochlea, and bony laminae supporting the basilar membrane, arose later, after the separation of the monotreme lineage, but before marsupial and placental mammals diverged. The question of when hearing sensitivity first extended into the ultrasonic range (defined here as>20 kHz) remains speculative, not least because of the late appearance of the definitive mammalian middle ear. The last significant change was optimizing the operating voltage range of prestin, and thus the efficiency of the outer hair cells’ amplifying action, in the placental lineage only.
Source: Cold Spring Harbor perspectives in medicine - Category: Research Authors: Tags: Function and Dysfunction of the Cochlea PERSPECTIVES Source Type: research

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