Journal of Applied Health Sciences and Medicine

Perspective Article

Errors in the assumptions of Bekesy's traveling wave theory

  • By Jan Myjkowski - 28 Jun 2024
  • Journal of Applied Health Sciences and Medicine, Volume: 4, Issue: 5, Pages: 1 - 4
  • Received: June 6, 2024; Accepted: June 20, 2024; Published: June 28, 2024


Hearing theory should serve in learning and understanding the important factors contributing to the reception, processing and transmission of auditory information. Assumptions for theory that is developed should be consistent with the laws of Nature, up to date body of knowledge and logic. Analyzing in detail Bekesy's obsolete theory of hearing (Olson & Duifhuis., 2012), it can be concluded that these rules were not followed. The reception and transmission of auditory information, as described by the traveling wave theory in humans, must be consistent with hearing mechanisms in other mammals and birds. Billions of creatures on Earth do not have the basilar membrane and cochlear fluids and yet they perfectly receive auditory information at frequencies up to 300 kHz. This indicates that there is a different mechanism for the receptor to receive sound signal. It is possible to transmit the mechanical energy of sound wave directly to the receptor, without the intermediary of the basilar membrane (Myjkowski., 2023). The sound wave has no mass, and can be transmitted through the bone housing of the cochlea directly to the receptor. The information encoded in the sound wave about amplitude, frequency, harmonics, phase shifts, accent, length of sound and melody is accurately transmitted to the receptorm (Myjkowski., 2023). It is impossible to transmit all this information via the basilar membrane, the resonance of the longitudinal wave with the transverse wave of the basilar membrane, the flow of cochlear fluids, the tilting of hairs of hair cells and the tip-link mechanism.