1. The bone surrounding the middle and inner ear (endochondral capsule) is well suited to its task of conducting sound. It is a static medium formed from fetal cartilage and remains unchanged (no resorption) from before birth to after death.
2. The stirrup muscle is the only muscle of the body in constant tension. Tomatis explains the phenomenon of sudden vertigo or dizzy spells as a consequence of a twitch in this muscle which sends shock waves throughout the endolymphatic system.
3. Although the first with an elaborated theory, Tomatis has not been the only researcher to speculate on the role of the middle ear muscles. See Simmons (1964) and Pickles (1988).
On a positive note, there is in addition to the work of Tomatis in this field an organization called the International Listening Association devoted to promoting awareness and understanding of listening. It is made up of educators, researchers and communications experts from the public and private sector. Write to Charles Roberts, Executive Director, P.O. Box 90340, McNeese University, Lake Charles, LA 70609-0340, USA.
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Eisenberg, R. (1976). Auditory competence in early life. Baltimore: University Park Press.
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Gilmor, T.M. (1989). Overview of the Tomatis Method. In T.M. Gilmor, P. Madaule, & B. Thompson (Eds.), About the Tomatis Method (pp. 15-42), Toronto: The Listening Centre Press.
Howell, P. (1984). Are two muscles needed for the normal functioning of the mammalian ear? Acta Otol. (Stockholm), 98, 204-7.
Juhn, S. (1986). Biochemistry of the inner and middle ear. 1983 in English, G.M., (ed.) Otolaryngology hose leaf series. (Vol. 1, chapter 60). Philadelphia: Harper & Row.
Katz, J. (1978). The effects of conductive hearing loss on auditory function. ASHA, (10), 879-886.
Mauer, D., & Mauer, C. (1988). The world of the newborn. New York: Basic Books.
Pickles, J.O. (1988). An introduction to the physiology of hearing. San Diego: Academic Press.
Simmons, F.B. (1964). Perceptual theories of middle ear muscle function. Ann. Otol. 73, 724-739.
Spence, M., & DeCaspar, A. (1982). Human fetuses perceive maternal speech. Paper presented at the SRCD Conference, Austin, TX.
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