Asymmetries in the acoustic reflexes of the cat stapedius muscle
Review articleOpen access

AbstractElectromyographic activity (EMG) was used to monitor contractions of the stapedius muscle evoked by both ipsilateral and contralateral sound in ketamine-anesthetized or decerebrate cats. After the onset of a continuing tone, stapedius EMG often had bursts of activity at regular intervals; similar bursts were also observed in the EMG from the tensor tympani muscle. Plots of the r.m.s. amplitude of stapedius-EMG versus sound level usually had a steep rising phase (small dynamic range) and a plateau at high sound levels. For sound stimulation at 1 kHz, the crossed stapedius reflex had a lower maximum amplitude (ave. amplitude ratio: 0.37) and a higher threshold (ave. 8 dB) than the uncrossed reflex. Since the uncrossed reflex evokes considerably more stapedius EMG than does the crossed reflex, it probably produces correspondingly greater changes in middle-ear sound transmission.

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