3 scientists win Nobel Prize for discovering brain's 'inner GPS'

3 scientists win Nobel Prize for discovering brain's 'inner GPS'
(Image credit: AFP/Getty Images)

British scientist John O'Keefe and Norwegian couple Mary-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser, received the Nobel Prize in medicine on Monday. The trio experimented on rats to discover nerve cells that "constitute a positioning system in the brain," a.k.a. an "inner GPS," according to the Nobel Assembly.

O'Keefe first embarked upon the quest in 1971, when he discovered the same nerve cell was used when a rat was in a specific location. O'Keefe's discovery led to his finding of multiple "place cells" that rats used to create "a map of the environment," The Associated Press reports. Later, the Mosers joined O'Keefe when they discovered a "grid cell" that allowed the brain to create a "coordinate system."

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up
To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us
Meghan DeMaria

Meghan DeMaria is a staff writer at TheWeek.com. She has previously worked for USA Today and Marie Claire.