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Nobel prize awarded for deciphering how individuals orientate themselves

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine has been awarded to John O’Keefe from University College London and May-Britt and Edvard Moser from the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, who between them discovered the brain’s “inner GPS”.

They were recognised for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain that allows individuals to orientate themselves in space.

The announcement was made on 6 October 2014 by the Nobel Assembly at the Karolinska Institutet in Sweden.

O’Keefe, who has dual British-US citizenship, is currently director of the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre in Neural Circuits and Behaviour at University College London where he was appointed professor of cognitive neuroscience in 1987. He was awarded half the Nobel prize.

The other half of the prize was shared equally between husband and wife May-Britt and Edvard Moser. May-Britt Moser is the funding director at the Centre for Neural Computation and co-director of the Kavlil Institute for Systems Neuroscience at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, Norway.

Edvard Moser is the founding director of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience and co-director of the Centre for Neural Computation.

Citation: The Pharmaceutical Journal DOI: 10.1211/PJ.2014.20066732

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