The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to John O’Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser.
The researchers discovered how the brain helps us navigate the world around us. O’Keefe, a neuroscientist at University College London, discovered specialized “place cells” that were activated when a rat explored a room.
In 2005, the Mosers (a married couple who share a laboratory at the University of Trondheim in Norway) together discovered another component of the brain’s positioning system. The “grid cells” they found create a coordinate system by firing at regular spatial intervals as an animal explores a space. They went on to show how grid cells and place cells work together.
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