Nobel Prize awarded to May-Britt and Edvard Moser

(Press release from NTNU 6 October 2014)
"This is wonderful news, first for May-Britt and Edvard Moser, but also for NTNU and Norway," says NTNU rector Gunnar Bovim.
 
This year's Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine was awarded to brain researchers May-Britt and Edvard I. Moser, Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, NTNU. They share the award with John O'Keefe of University College London.
 
The Nobel Prize was awarded for the discovery of grid cells, which create a kind of internal GPS in the brain.
 
Congratulations from the Rector 
"This is the first time the Nobel Prize in medicine has been awarded to Norway. It is not surprising that it has been awarded to the Moser husband-and-wife team," says Gunnar Bovim, NTNU Rector.
 
"Their work in neuroscience focusing on memory and sense of place is internationally groundbreaking, and they have already won most of the international awards that it is possible to achieve in their field," said Bovim. 
 
"The award of the world's foremost scientific honour at this relatively early stage of their career is a strong statement about the level of their research. This is very inspiring for all of us," he said. 
 
Bovim added that the whole university now congratulates their researcher colleagues, and will celebrate together with them. 
 
 "We have raised the flag," said the proud NTNU Rector, who was in Oslo when he heard the news about the prize. Since then, congratulations have been pouring in.
 
The brain's inner GPS 
How do we know where we are? How can we find our way from one place to another? How does the brain code this information so that we immediately find the right route the next time we go this way?
 
The year's Nobel Laureates have discovered a positioning system, a kind of "inner GPS" in the brain, which makes it possible to navigate the environment.
 
In 1971, John O'Keefe discovered the first component of this positioning system. More than 30 years later, in 2005, May-Britt and Edvard Moser found another important part of the brain's positioning system. They identified grid cells, which create a system of coordinates for determining position. Their further studies revealed how the different types of cell work together to allow us to understand where we are, and how to find our way. 
 
The Nobel Laureates' discoveries have solved a problem that has perplexed philosophers and researchers for centuries: How the brain creates a map of the space around us, and how it enables us to navigate complex surroundings.
 
 
Contact information:
Rector Gunnar Bovim
Mobile phone: (+47) 95467446  |  gunnar.bovim@ntnu.no
 
Hege Tunstad, responsible for communications at the Kavli Institute, NTNU
Mobile phone: (+47) 92632103  |  hege.j.tunstad@ntnu.no
 
May-Britt Moser: may-britt.moser@ntnu.no
 
Edvard I. Moser: edvard.moser@ntnu.no
 
 
Stock photos of May-Britt and Edvard I. Moser.
The photos may be used freely in connection with reports on the brain researchers. Photo: Geir Mogen, NTNU