Awarded for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain
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 base d on motion and knowledge of previous positions .
Questions about place and navigation have engaged philosophers and scientists for a long time . More than 200 years ago, the German philosopher Immanuel Kant argued that some mental abilities exist as a priori knowledge, independent of experience. He considered the concept of space as an inbuilt principle of the mind, one throu gh which the world is and must be perceived. With the advent of behavioural psychology in the mid‐20 th century, these questions could be addresse d experimentally. When Edward Tolman examined rats moving through labyrinths, he found that they could learn how t o navigate, and proposed that a “cognitive map” formed in the brain allowed them to find their way. But questions still lingered ‐ how would such a map be represented in the brain?
May ‐ Britt Moser was born in Fosnavåg, Norway in 1963 and is a Norwegian citize n. She studied psychology at the Univers ity of Oslo together with her future husband and co‐ Laureate Edvard Moser. She received her Ph.D. in neurophysiolog y in 1995. She was a postdoctoral fellow at the University of Edinburgh and subseque ntly a visiting scientist at University College London before moving to the Norwegian Univer sity of Science and Technology in Trondheim in 1996. May‐Britt Moser was appointed Professor of Neuroscience in 2000 and is curre ntly Director of the Centre fo r Neural Computation in Trondheim.
Edvard I. Moser was born in born 1962 in Ålesund, 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‐Laur eate May‐Britt Moser, first at the University of Edinburgh and later a visiting scien tist in John O ́Keefe ́s laboratory in London. In 1996 they moved to the Norwegian Unive rsity of Science and Technology in Trondheim, where Edvard Moser became Professor in 1998. He is currently Director of the Kavli I nstitute for Systems Neuroscie nce in Trondheim.