Bioethics Blogs

Brain positioning system wins medicine Nobel

 

Nobel

Akademie/Alamy

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.

Keep watching this blog for reaction. Nature will publish a feature story and a full news story later today.

The views, opinions and positions expressed by these authors and blogs are theirs and do not necessarily represent that of the Bioethics Research Library and Kennedy Institute of Ethics or Georgetown University.