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Abstract

Predictions from the classic theory of semicircular canal operation, the torsion pendulum model, depend upon labyrinthine dimensions and the physical properties of the endolymph. The dimensions of the semicircular canal, duct and ampulla in cat, guinea pig and man were determined from measurements of magnified sections of decalcified temporal bones. Estimates of the effect of shrinkage were obtained from measures in fresh material and it appears shrinkage is probably only a fairly small factor. The dimensions so obtained were used to provide new estimates of the short time constant and other mechanical parameters of the torsion pendulum model in the three species.