• Join our email list for special events & exciting offers:

  • Whirled Pies

    OMSI Science Pub Eugene: Owls & Babies

    OMSI Science Pub Eugene: Owls & Babies

    Thu, April 12, 2018

    6:30 pm

    This event is all ages

    OMSI Science Pub Eugene: Owls & Babies
    OMSI Science Pub Eugene: Owls & Babies
    Of Owls and Human Babies

    With Terry Takahashi, PhD, Professor in the Department of Biology and Director of the Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Oregon

    April 12, 2018 | 6:30-8:30PM; Doors open @ 5PM | $5 Suggested Donation


    The barn owl (Tyto alba) can locate the sounds from prey burrowing in deep snow, and can dive in to capture it. The Takahashi Lab in the Institute of Neuroscience at the University of Oregon studies how the owl’s brain calculates the location of the sound source by comparing the sounds in the two ears. In this talk, Dr. Takahashi will explain the acoustics of the sounds at the eardrums and how the owl’s brain circuitry turns this acoustical comparison into a sonar-screen-like display of the acoustical environment that is resistant to background noise and echoes.



    And how does this help human health? While studying the barn owl’s spatial hearing, the lab discovered that the owl’s pupils dilate when a sound is detected. The researchers realized that by observing the pupil, they might be able to test hearing in young infants who can’t be expected to follow instructions such as, “Push this button if you hear a beep.” Hearing in infants is currently tested by attaching electrodes to the scalp and looking at the electrical activity in the brainstem. This procedure often requires sedation and multiple visits to the clinic. Using pupil dilation, by contrast, doctors can tell if an infant heard a sound by monitoring the pupils; no need for scalp electrodes, sedation, or multiple clinic visits.



    Terry Takahashi is a Professor in the Department of Biology at the University of Oregon where he is also the Director of the Institute of Neuroscience. Dr. Takahashi received his PhD at the State University of New York, Health Science Center, Brooklyn. He started the Takahashi Lab at UO after his post-doctoral research with Masakazu ‘Mark’ Konishi at Caltech. The goal of his research program is to understand how we get perception from physical stimuli.



    Science Pub Eugene is a monthly event that is open to anyone and everyone. No RSVP or scientific background required. Just bring your curiosity, sense of humor, and appetite for food, drinks, and knowledge! For more information or to sign up for our mailing list, email: sciencepub@omsi.edu.
    Venue Information:
    Whirled Pies
    199 W. 8th
    Eugene, OR, 97401