Displacement-frequency characteristics of the stapes footplate were measured in five human temporal bones before and after draining the vestibule. Measurements were made in the 0.125-8 kHz range at 80 dB input sound pressure level, using a laser Doppler vibrometer. A circuit model was also used to predict stapes displacement. The temporal bone studies show a slight decrease in stapes footplate displacement at low frequency, and little change above 1 kHz. The displacement change is not as great as that found by other investigators or predicted by the model. There is little difference in stapes motion in temporal bones when the inner ear is intact or drained. (C) 2001 Acoustical Society of America.