Mark Konishi, Pioneer of Studying Behavior’s Neural Basis, Dies | The Scientist

Mark Konishi, Pioneer of Studying Behavior’s Neural Basis, Dies | The Scientist

A giant in the field of neurobiology, Mark Konishi formerly served on the faculty of the MBL Neural Systems & Behavior course, which presents an honorary lecture in his name, The Masakazu Konishi Endowed Lectureship in NS&B.

By Ashley Yeager

Masakazu “Mark” Konishi, renowned for his research on the neuroscience of owl hunting and birdsong, died July 23. He was 87. Konishi, who conducted his work in two separate labs at Caltech, discovered that barn owls’ hearing is essential for them to home in on prey and that young male songbirds learn their tunes from a “tutor,” typically their father, and then use those tunes to develop their own songs.

“Mark picked his scientific direction based on his curiosity,” Rockefeller University neurobiologist Fernando Nottebohm, a long-time friend of Konishi and a leader in birdsong neurobiology himself, tells The Scientist. “He was not an imitator.” Read more …

Source: Mark Konishi, Pioneer of Studying Behavior’s Neural Basis, Dies | The Scientist