The Brain’s GPS System and the Nobel Prize for Medicine

nobel medal in medicine

On Monday, the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was announced [1]. The prize was awarded to a team of scientists for their discoveries of cells that constitute 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.

The prize of 8-million-Swedish-krona ($1.2-million USD) was divided, with one half to Dr. John O´Keefe, age 75, at at University College London and the other half jointly to a husband-and-wife team, Dr. May-Britt Moser, age 51, and Dr. Edvard I. Moser, age 52, at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, for discovering how the brain creates a map of the space around us and how we can navigate our way through a complex environment.