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Research in a Minute: Neurobiological Reasons Behind Identity

Published on: 2/2/2016

Every day a variety of high-quality sponsored activity takes place throughout The City University of New York. Such work makes substantive economic, social, and cultural contributions to society.

At the Research Foundation, we provide comprehensive support across the award life-cycle that enables CUNY investigators to focus on this vital research. With Research in a Minute we take a look at how sponsored research is making an impact in sixty seconds or less.


How do you know who you are if you haven't seen anyone like yourself?

This is the question Mark Hauber, Professor of Psychology at Hunter College is trying to answer. His $330,000 NSF award, Mechanisms of Behavioral Innovation in Brood Parasitic Birds, allows him to study parasitic birds, specifically the pin-tailed Whydah. Parasitic birds don't provide care for their young. Rather, they lay their eggs in other bird species' nests. The abandoned bird fails to imprint on the foster parents and matures into a bird of its own species. But how does the bird know the foster parents aren't the true parents? By imaging the brain, exploring the genomic basis of recognition, and performing behavior experiments, Hauber is learning the neurobiological reasons behind this phenomena.

Watch nowResearch in a Minute: Neurobiological Reasons Behind Identity



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