What is biological mechanism for auditory masking??

RAdams2000 radams2000 at aol.com
Sun Aug 4 20:03:02 EST 1996

I am wondering what the biological mechanism for auditory masking is.
The concept of "lateral inhibition", where a neuron that fires has an
effect on neighboring neurons, is well known in many sensory systems, such
vision and touch. If the same mechanism existed along the basilar
then it would be logical that large signals at a particular frequency
might inhibit
the detection of nearby weaker frequencies. However, it would seem that
mechanism for lateral inhibition would actually have to be a stiffening of
the cilia
connected to the hair cells, rather than a pure electrical cross-coupling
in the neurons.
I'm sure there has been some research on this; anybody know the answer??

Bob Adams

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