2014 Nobel prize in medicine goes to John O’Keefe, May‐Britt Moser, Edvard I Moser

3 scientists get Nobel prize in medicine
Stockholm, Oct 6: The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine were announced in Stockholm on Monday, Oct 6, kick-starting the week of many Noble Prize announcements in other fields like physics, chemistry, economics, peace and literature.

The big announcement was made by the Academy along with the Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet, Swedish Academy and the Norwegian Nobel Committee

The winners of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine are John O'Keefe, May‐Britt Moser, Edvard I Moser, who have been credited with the discovery of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.

Norweigian couple, Mosers have become the fifth married couple to be jointly awarded with the prestigious Noble Prize.

John O'Keefe, who will be sharing one half of the Cobel Prize holds US and UK citizenship.

This year´s Nobel Laureates have 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.

In 1971, John O´Keefe discovered the first component of this positioning system. He found that a type of nerve cell in an area of the brain called the hippocampus that was always activated when a rat was at a certain place in a room. Other nerve cells were activated when the rat was at other places. O´Keefe concluded that these "place cells" formed a map of the room.

More than three decades later, in 2005, May-Britt and Edvard Moser discovered another key component of the brain's positioning system. They identified another type of nerve cell, which they called "grid cells", that generate a coordinate system and allow for precise positioning and pathfinding. Their subsequent research showed how place and grid cells make it possible to determine position and to navigate.

The discoveries of John O´Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser have solved a problem that has occupied philosophers and scientists for centuries - how does the brain create a map of the space surrounding us and how can we navigate our way through a complex environment?

On being awarded the Nobel Prize, May‐Britt said, "I'm still in shock. This is so great."

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