I have to say I was completely taken aback by an exchange with a moderator:

How does pressure travel through the cochlea exactly?

"I downvoted because I see no evidence you tried to understand this with resources you have access to. I'm happy to answer the question if more effort is given."

I provided three paragraphs of my current understanding of the subject, in my own words, as well as outlined the specific areas where my confusion rests. How is this "no evidence" of an attempt to understand?

That response came off as so inflammatory/disingenuous/trolly/gaslighty to me that I had to post here and ask what the deal is in the biology stackexchage, if this place is somehow different than others in terms of what consitutes "effort" but I found that to be a sufficiently absurd comment, by a moderator no less.

  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I was too harsh, I'll remove the comment. However, it seemed to me like you were reading things that probably weren't written in your sources and not citing them for the things you wondered about (only making vague references). I think that's why the answer AliceD wrote isn't helping you. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Jan 25, 2021 at 15:22
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ @BryanKrause yes it was kind of a struggle to answer the question proper, but it's an accepted answer now. I think the question was good, yet the core was indeed kind of obscured it turned out. $\endgroup$
    – AliceD Mod
    Jan 25, 2021 at 20:32
  • 1
    $\begingroup$ I probably did not word it as clearly as I could have, granted - I just took issue with the idea that it was somehow a low-effort post or that there was no evidence of trying to understand it first, is all $\endgroup$
    – user525966
    Jan 25, 2021 at 20:45
  • 2
    $\begingroup$ I certainly should have worded the comment differently. What I had in mind is that it would be better to share specifically what you had read (with quotes and such) and to highlight where the gaps were. But I didn't word it that way, and it sounded like I was saying you made no effort. $\endgroup$
    – Bryan Krause Mod
    Jan 25, 2021 at 20:59

1 Answer 1


Welcome to Meta. Personally, I think you have shown sufficient prior efforts, and from my point of view I think it contains a lot more background than many questions on this site. Further, cochlear mechanics is a hard topic and it took me quite a while to compile an answer. Especially because multiple theories are out there explaining the phenomenon of cochlear mechanics.

What Bryan may have been hinting at is that other questions posted on this site may have answers on them that might have helped you look in the right direction. However, as an answerer of quite a few hearing questions On Bio.SE I'm pretty sure this one is quite specific on the topic of cochlear mechanics and fluid motion in the two scalae. I personally think this question fits this site just fine.

That said, [more] critical minds [than mine], like Bryan's keep this site at [reasonably] high standards, and we all try the very best we can to help at Bio.SE. Bryan's pointers to 'show prior research efforts' basically boil down to adding backgrounds. Adding background information can potentially specify the problem further, increasing the chances to receive a helpful answer.


You must log in to answer this question.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged .