The state-space formalism [
Elliott S. J., et al. (2007). J. Acoust. Soc. Am. 122, 2759–2771
] allows one to discretize cochlear models in a straightforward matrix form and to modify the main physical properties of the cochlear model by changing the position and functional form of a few matrix elements. Feed-forward and feed-backward properties can be obtained by simply introducing off-diagonal terms in the matrixes expressing the coupling between the dynamical variables and the additional active pressure on the basilar membrane. Some theoretical issues related to different cochlear modeling choices, their implementation in a state-space scheme, and their physical consequences on the cochlear phenomenology, as predicted by numerical simulations, are discussed. Different schematizations of the active term describing the behavior of the outer hair cell’s feedback mechanism, including nonlinear and nonlocal dependences on either pressure or basilar membrane displacement, are also discussed, showing their effect on some measurable cochlear properties.