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Nobel Prize winners in physiology announced

October 06, 2014, 15:03 UTC+3 STOCKHOLM
John O'Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser won for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain
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© EPA/BERTIL ERICSON

STOCKHOLM, October 6. /TASS/. The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet on Monday decided to award the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with one half to John O'Keefe and the other half jointly to May-Britt Moser and Edvard I. Moser for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.

The system is a sort of an "inner GPS." The sense of place and the ability to navigate are fundamental to our existence. The sense of place gives a perception of position in the environment. During navigation, it is interlinked with a sense of distance that is based on motion and knowledge of previous positions, the Nobel Committee said.

John O’Keefe was born in 1939 in New York City, USA, and holds both American and British citizenships. He received his doctoral degree in physiological psychology from McGill University, Canada in 1967. After that, he moved to England for postdoctoral training at University College London. He has remained at University College and was appointed Professor of Cognitive Neuroscience in 1987. John O'Keefe is currently Director of the Sainsbury Wellcome Center in Neural Circuits and Behavior at University College London.

May-Britt Moser was born in Fosnaveg, Norway, in 1963 and is a Norwegian citizen. She studied psychology at the University of Oslo together with her future husband and co-Laureate Edvard Moser. She received her Ph.D. in neurophysiology in 1995. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Edinburgh and subsequently a visiting scientist at University College London before moving to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim in 1996. May-Britt Moser was appointed Professor of Neuroscience in 2000 and is currently Director of the Center for Neural Computation in Trondheim.

Edvard I. Moser was born in 1962 in Alesund, Norway and has Norwegian citizenship. He obtained his Ph.D. in neurophysiology from the University of Oslo in 1995. He was a postdoctoral fellow together with his wife and co-Laureate May-Britt Moser, first at the University of Edinburgh and later a visiting scientist in John O'Keefe's laboratory in London. In 1996 they moved to the Norwegian University of Science and Technology in Trondheim, where Edvard Moser became Professor in 1998. He is currently Director of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience in Trondheim.

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