Pacific Biosciences Research Center


University of Hawaii at Manoa

Békésy Laboratory of Neurobiology

The Békésy Laboratory of Neurobiology was founded in 1966 as the Laboratory of Sensory Sciences when the late Nobel laureate
Photo by Niko Hartline
Georg von Békésy was persuaded to leave Harvard University to take up an appointment as Research Professor at the University of Hawaii. The present building was designed and built under Dr. Békésy's supervision to provide facilities for research in basic neurobiology and psychophysics. Dr. Békésy established the unusually well-equipped machine shop and hired the Laboratory electronics technician, Hinano Akaka.
The Laboratory is a research program of the Pacific Biosciences Research Center. Twelve faculty members holding research appointments or instructional
appointments in various academic departments contribute to the program. These scientists conduct research in a broad range of neuroscience disciplines including the biophysics and chemistry of ionic channels in excitable membranes; cellular electrophysiological, morphological and biochemical studies of neurosecretion; analyis and modeling of small neuronal systems and their integrative functioning; neuroecological aspects of mechanoreception; sexually determined differences in brain hormone and peptide receptor distribution; neural and pharmacological control of fear and aggression; and comparative studies and theoretical modeling of learning processes. More information about these areas of research may be found on the pages of the individual faculty members.


Daniel K. Hartline       Neuroecology, integration and evolution in invertebrate nervous systems.


Marilou Andres       patch clamp studies of ionic channels

Caroline Blanchard       analysis of stress and defense

Robert Blanchard       analysis of stress and defense

Ann Castelfranco       computational analysis of neurons and neuronal circuits

Ian M. Cooke       Cellular mechanisms linking electrical and secretory activities of peptide-secretory cells, especially the role of calcium movements in control of secretion.

Patricia A. Couvillon       learning and the evolution of intelligence

Andrew E. Christie       Neuroendocrine control of behavior.

Adrian J. Dunn      

Petra H. Lenz       analysis of copepod escape behavior

Angel Yanagihara       Systematic biochemical and pathophysiological characterization of novel toxins and bioactive compounds from venomous marine invertebrates of regional importance

Postdocs and Graduate Students


Hinano Akaka, Electronics Shop
Lynn Hata, Bekesy Secretary