Georg von Bekesy
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Bekesy won a Nobel Prize in 1961 for his research on the workings of the inner ear.
Georg von Bekesy (Bekesy Gyorgy) (June 3ĦB1899 ĦV June 13ĦB1972) was a Hungarian biophysicist born in Budapest.
In 1961ĦBhe was awarded the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine for his research on the function of the cochlea in the mammalian hearing organ. The decision of the prize committee had been controversial from the beginningĦBand research of the past three decades revealed that von BekesyĦĤs main conclusions were in error.
Contents
[hide]
ĦE 1 Research
ĦE 2 Biography
ĦE 3 References
ĦE 4 External links

[edit] Research
Bekesy developed a method for dissecting the inner ear of human cadavers while leaving the cochlea partly intact. By using strobe photography and silver flakes as a markerĦBhe was able to observe that the basilar membrane moves like a surface wave when stimulated by sound. Because of the structure of the cochlea and the basilar membraneĦBdifferent frequencies of sound cause the maximum amplitudes of the waves to occur at different places on the basilar membrane along the coil of the cochlea.[1]
He concluded that his observations showed how different sound wave frequencies are locally dispersed before exciting different nerve fibers that lead from the cochlea to the brain. He theorized that the placement of each sensory cell (hair cell) along the coil of the cochlea corresponds to a specific frequency of sound (the so-called tonotopy). Bekesy later developed a mechanical model of the cochleaĦBwhich confirmed the concept of frequency dispersion by the basilar membrane in the mammalian cochlea. But this model could not provide any information as to a possible function of this frequency dispersion in the process of hearing.[1]
In 1974ĦBin looking back over progress in the fieldĦBhe remarked "In timeĦBI came to the conclusion that the dehydrated cats and the application of Fourier analysis to hearing problems became more and more a handicap for research in hearing,"[2] referring to the difficulties in getting animal preparations to behave as when aliveĦBand the misleading common interpretations of Fourier analysis in hearing research.
[edit] Biography
Bekesy was born in BudapestĦBHungaryĦBthe son of diplomat Alexander von Bekesy and his wife Paula. He went to school in BudapestĦBIstanbulĦBMunichĦBand Zurich. He studied chemistry in Berne and received his PhD from the University of Budapest in 1926.
During World War IIĦBBekesy worked for the Hungarian Post OfficeĦBwhere he did research on telecommunications. This research led him to become interested in the workings of the ear. In 1946ĦBhe left Hungary to follow this line of research at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden.
In 1947ĦBhe moved to the United StatesĦBworking at Harvard University until 1966. He became a professor at the University of Hawaii in 1966 and died in Honolulu.
[edit] References
1. ^ a b GoldsteinĦBB. 2001. Sensation and PerceptionĦB6th ed. London: Wadsworth.
2. ^ (1974) ""Some Biophysical Experiments from Fifty Years Ago"". Annual Review of Physiology.
[edit] External links
ĦE Nobel Prize Biography
ĦE Georg von Bekesy page at the Pacific Biosciences Research Center
ĦE Bekesy Laboratory of Neurobiology website
ĦE Bekesy art collection
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v ĦE d ĦE e
Nobel Laureates in Physiology or Medicine

Max Theiler (1951) ĦE Selman Waksman (1952) ĦE Hans Krebs / Fritz Lipmann (1953) ĦE John Enders / Thomas Weller / Frederick Robbins (1954) ĦE Hugo Theorell (1955) ĦE Andre Cournand / Werner Forssmann / Dickinson W. Richards (1956) ĦE Daniel Bovet (1957) ĦE George Beadle / Edward Tatum / Joshua Lederberg (1958) ĦE Severo Ochoa / Arthur Kornberg (1959) ĦE Frank Burnet / Peter Medawar (1960) ĦE Georg von Bekesy (1961) ĦE Francis Crick / James D. Watson / Maurice Wilkins (1962) ĦE John Eccles / Alan Hodgkin / Andrew Huxley (1963) ĦE Konrad Bloch / Feodor Lynen (1964) ĦE Francois Jacob / Andre Lwoff / Jacques Monod (1965) ĦE Francis Rous / Charles B. Huggins (1966) ĦE Ragnar Granit / Haldan Hartline / George Wald (1967) ĦE Robert W. Holley / Har Khorana / Marshall Nirenberg (1968) ĦE Max Delbruck / Alfred Hershey / Salvador Luria (1969) ĦE Bernard Katz / Ulf von Euler / Julius Axelrod (1970) ĦE Earl Sutherland Jr. (1971) ĦE Gerald Edelman / Rodney Porter (1972) ĦE Karl von Frisch / Konrad Lorenz / Nikolaas Tinbergen (1973) ĦE Albert Claude / Christian de Duve / George Palade (1974) ĦE David Baltimore / Renato Dulbecco / Howard Temin (1975)

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Complete roster | (1901-1925) | (1926-1950) | (1951-1975) | (1976-2000) | (2001-2025)

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Categories: Articles needing additional references from August 2007 | 1899 births | 1972 deaths | Austrian nobility | Biophysicists | Harvard University faculty | Hungarian Nobel laureates | Hungarian nobility | Hungarian neuroscientists | History of neuroscience | Nobel laureates in Physiology or Medicine