Knowledge evolves much faster than nature. It is, however, by definition an inaccurate abstraction (31). Any attempt to describe the ontogeny of mature function is limited by the accuracy of our current abstraction. This review, with the exception of the final section, is therefore biased toward ontogenetic analyses of those physiological processes that we best understand. Space limitations kept many important areas and contributors from being treated. Why study the ontogeny of auditory information processing? One reason is to understand the development of audition, per se, including such phenomena as the endocochlear potential (9) or the ontogeny of the frequency/place principle (74, 110). Another reason is to use unique qualities of the auditory system to approach more general issues of developmental neurobiology (106). Such issues include the demonstration that afferents influence cell death (73) or the ontogenetic elimination of supernumerary inputs in the central nervous system (60). Development can also be used as a tool to further understand the principles underlying adult function. Pujol and his colleagues, for example, have used the fact that inner hair cell differentiation precedes that of outer hair cells to investigate functional differences between these two cell types (18). DEVELOPMENT OF CONDUCTIVE ELEMENTS:
Annual Review of Physiology – Annual Reviews
Published: Mar 1, 1984
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