The 2014 Nobel Medicine Prize has won by John O’Keefe of University College London and May-Britt Moser and Edvard Mosel, a married couple working at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, “for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain”.
As the Nobel Assembly in Stockholm put it, the laureates found an “inner GPS” that enables humans and other animals to orient themselves in space
Prof O’Keefe discovered the first component of the brain’s positioning system in 1971, working with rats. He found a type of neuron in the hippocampus that was always active when an animal was at a certain place in its cage.
Other neurons were activated when the rat was in different places. He concluded that these “place cells” formed a map of its surroundings.
More than three decades later in 2005 May-Britt and Edvard Moser – who had earlier worked as visiting scientists in Prof O’Keefe’s UCL lab – discovered another key component of the brain’s positioning system. >> Read More