Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Remembering Dr. Robert Galambos

Robert Galambos, Neuroscientist Who Showed How Bats Navigate, Dies at 96

Published: July 15, 2010

Dr. Robert Galambos, a neuroscientist whose work included helping to prove how bats navigate in total darkness and deciphering the codes by which nerves transmit sounds to the brain, died June 18 at his home in the La Jolla section of San Diego. He was 96.

UCSD's Nick Spitzer hosts neuroscientist Bob Galambos a pioneer in understanding fundamental principles of the auditory system. Series: "UCSD Guestbook" [11/2002] [Science] [Show ID: 6646]

As a graduate student at Harvard in 1939, Robert Galambos made a name for himself with a pioneering experiment involving flying bats and their use of sound waves to navigate in the dark.

In the decades that followed, Dr. Galambos was head of neurophysiology research at the Walter Reed Army Research Institute and was a founding member of the neurosciences department at the University of California, San Diego, where he mentored many scientists. In the 1980s, he developed a hearing test for infants and in recent years he conducted research on how the eye and brain work together to produce visual images.

-from the Obituary by Blanca Gonzalez, UNION-TRIBUNE STAFF WRITER

Film on bat echolocation made in 1940 by Bob Galambos and Don Griffin. Narration by Dr. Galambos.

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At July 21, 2010 5:51 AM, Anonymous bsci said...

I don't think the obituaries make clear one of the most practical effects of his research. In thousands of hospitals around the world, newborns are hooked to EEG electrodes to record auditory evoked potentials. This revolutionized the ability to identify infants who are deaf and work with them during the window when language is still developing.

This is also a case where basic research in bat echolocalization lead to observations of auditory potentials and then a direct clinical application. All of which, Dr. Galambos had major roles.

Incidentally, Dr. Galambos originally developed the test that is used for newborns for returning veterans that were claiming hearing loss. The military wanted a test that didn't rely on people saying what they could or couldn't hear.

At July 21, 2010 10:10 PM, Blogger The Neurocritic said...

Thanks for providing more information on his many contributions to the field.


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