Mathematical Biology Program

University of Utah
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Mathematical Biology seminar

Kim Montgomery
Northwestern University
"A Nonlinear Analysis of the Amplification Properties of Auditory Hair Cells"
Friday, February 6, 2004
3:05 pm LCB 225

A mathematical model describing the coupling between two independent amplification mechanisms in auditory hair cells is proposed and analyzed. Hair cells are cells in the inner ear responsible for translating sound-induced mechanical stimuli into an electrical signal that can then be carried away by the auditory nerve. In nonmammals, two separate mechanisms have been postulated to contribute to the amplification and tuning properties of the hair cells. Interestingly, models of each of these mechanisms have been shown to be poised near a Hopf bifurcation. Through a weakly nonlinear analysis assuming weak forcing, weak damping, and weak coupling we reduce physiologically based ODE models of the two mechanisms to a system of two coupled bifurcation equations. We then discuss the predictions of the reduced equations, compare these predictions with experimental data, and discuss performance benefits due to the coupling of the two mechanisms.

For more information contact J. Keener, 1-6089