Moser group - Research - Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience/Centre for Neural Computation
May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser are Professors and Directors at the Kavli Institute and the Centre for Neural Computation.
They are interested in the fundamental neural computations underlying cognition and behaviour. To decipher these computations, they focus on the mechanisms for mapping of local space in the mammalian cortex. Their past work includes the discovery of grid cells.
Why grid cells?
In mammals, great insights have been obtained for early stages of sensory systems where signals can be followed through hierarchical networks from receptors to primary sensory cortices. But how the mammalian brain generates its own codes, deep in the association cortices, has remained deeply mysterious. Yet this is where the understanding of subjective experience begins. A path was opened in this terra incognita in 2005 when the Mosers and their students discovered grid cells – the metric of the brain's map for space.
Grid cells are place-modulated neurons whose firing fields define a triangular array across the entire environment.
These cells are thought to form an essential part of the brain's coordinate system for metric navigation. Because their matrix-like firing is generated in the brain, far away from specific sensory inputs, grid cells provide unprecedented access to algorithms of neural coding in high-end cortices.
The simplicity and the crystal-like structure of the grid cells offers opportunities for understanding, maybe for the first time, a mammalian behaviour at the level of neuronal network computation.
We have chosen to highlight four experimental publication and a joint theoretical paper involving all research groups present at the Centre per 2017. All work...