Three Scientists Win Medicine Nobel for Discovering Brain’s GPS System

World | October 6, 2014, Monday // 13:47|  views

US Professor John O` Keefe speaks to reporters after winning the Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine.He and Norwegians May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser won the prize for the discovery of nerve cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.

Three brain research scientists have won the 2014 Nobel prize for medicine for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain. 

John O'Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser were awarded the SEK 8 M (USD 1.1 M) prize in Stockholm on Monday for their work into understanding how the human brain helps us to find our way around and help understand diseases like Alzheimer's.

The Swedish Academy in Stockholm said in a press release the Nobel laureates had "discovered a positioning system -- an 'inner GPS' -- in the brain that makes it possible to orient ourselves in space, demonstrating a cellular basis for higher cognitive function." 

According to the Academy, the efforts of the three scientists were recognized for addressing how "the brain creates a map of space surrounding us" and how humans are able to "navigate our way through a complex environment."

Half of the prize goes to John O’Keefe, who holds dual US and UK citizenships, while the other half is split between May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser, a Norwegian married couple

O’Keefe works at the University College London where he was appointed Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in 1987. The Mosers workat the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim.

The Nobel awards in physics, chemistry, literature and peace will be announced later this week. The economics prize will be announced next Monday.


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Tags: medicine, Nobel prize, brain, inner GPS, positioning system, May-Britt Moser, Edvard Moser, John O'Keefe


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