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2014년 노벨 생리의학상
2014년 노벨 생리의학상 저자 BRIC (생물학연구정보센터)
등록일 2014.10.07
자료번호 BRIC VIEW 2014-B08
조회 4175  인쇄하기 주소복사 트위터 공유 페이스북 공유 

The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine
 


The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014 was awarded 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".


2014년 노벨 생리의학상 수상자로는 자신이 어디에 있는지 지각하는 뇌의 신경세포와 그 위치확인 메커니즘을 발견한 영국 유니버시티칼리지런던(UCL) 존 오키프(John O’Keefe, 75) 교수와, 노르웨이과학기술대(NUST) 부부 과학자 마이브리트 모세르(May-Britt Moser, 51), 에드바르 모세르(Edvard Moser, 52) 교수 등 3명이 선정됐다. 노벨 생리의학상 수상자를 선정하는 스웨덴 카롤린스카의대 노벨위원회는 6일 “‘뇌 속 GPS’로 불리며 뇌가 장소를 인지해 다른 장소로 찾아갈 수 있게 만드는 ‘장소세포(place cell)’"를 발견한 공로로 세 사람을 수상자로 선정했다고 밝혔다.

관련뉴스
- 2014 노벨 생리의학상 수상자 - 뇌과학: 노르웨이의 두뇌 커플 (Bio통신원) 2014-10-07
- ‘뇌 속 GPS’ 발견한 뇌 신경과학자들 수상...영국 UCL 존 오키프 교수, 노르웨이과기대 부부 과학자 모세르 교수 커플 수상 (동아사이언스) 2014-10-06
- ‘내몸 안의 GPS’ 신경세포 발견하다 -노벨생리의학상 (Science On) 2014-10-07

About the Nobel prize Laureate
The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014 

Press Release

The Nobel Assembly at Karolinska Institutet has today 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


How do we know where we are? How can we find the way from one place to another? And how can we store this information in such a way that we can immediately find the way the next time we trace the same path? This year´s Nobel Laureates have discovered a positioning system, an “inner GPS” in the brain that makes it possible to orient ourselves in space, demonstrating a cellular basis for higher cognitive function.

In 1971, John O´Keefe discovered the first component of this positioning system. He found that a type of nerve cell in an area of the brain called the hippocampus that was always activated when a rat was at a certain place in a room. Other nerve cells were activated when the rat was at other places. O´Keefe concluded that these “place cells” formed a map of the room.

More than three decades later, in 2005, May-Britt and Edvard Moser discovered another key component of the brain’s positioning system. They identified another type of nerve cell, which they called “grid cells”, that generate a coordinate system and allow for precise positioning and pathfinding. Their subsequent research showed how place and grid cells make it possible to determine position and to navigate.

The discoveries of John O´Keefe, May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser have solved a problem that has occupied philosophers and scientists for centuries – how does the brain create a map of the space surrounding us and how can we navigate our way through a complex environment?

How do we experience our environment?
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.

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 through which the world is and must be perceived. With the advent of behavioural psychology in the mid-20th century, these questions could be addressed experimentally. When Edward Tolman examined rats moving through labyrinths, he found that they could learn how to 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?

John O´Keefe and the place in space
John O´Keefe was fascinated by the problem of how the brain controls behaviour and decided, in the late 1960s, to attack this question with neurophysiological methods. When recording signals from individual nerve cells in a part of the brain called the hippocampus, in rats moving freely in a room, O’Keefe discovered that certain nerve cells were activated when the animal assumed a particular place in the environment (Figure 1). He could demonstrate that these “place cells” were not merely registering visual input, but were building up an inner map of the environment. O’Keefe concluded that the hippocampus generates numerous maps, represented by the collective activity of place cells that are activated in different environments. Therefore, the memory of an environment can be stored as a specific combination of place cell activities in the hippocampus.

May-Britt and Edvard Moser find the coordinates
May-Britt and Edvard Moser were mapping the connections to the hippocampus in rats moving in a room when they discovered an astonishing pattern of activity in a nearby part of the brain called the entorhinal cortex. Here, certain cells were activated when the rat passed multiple locations arranged in a hexagonal grid (Figure 2). Each of these cells was activated in a unique spatial pattern and collectively these “grid cells” constitute a coordinate system that allows for spatial navigation. Together with other cells of the entorhinal cortex that recognize the direction of the head and the border of the room, they form circuits with the place cells in the hippocampus. This circuitry constitutes a comprehensive positioning system, an inner GPS, in the brain (Figure 3).

A place for maps in the human brain
Recent investigations with brain imaging techniques, as well as studies of patients undergoing neurosurgery, have provided evidence that place and grid cells exist also in humans. In patients with Alzheimer´s disease, the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex are frequently affected at an early stage, and these individuals often lose their way and cannot recognize the environment. Knowledge about the brain´s positioning system may, therefore, help us understand the mechanism underpinning the devastating spatial memory loss that affects people with this disease.

The discovery of the brain’s positioning system represents a paradigm shift in our understanding of how ensembles of specialized cells work together to execute higher cognitive functions. It has opened new avenues for understanding other cognitive processes, such as memory, thinking and planning.

Key publications:

O'Keefe, J., and Dostrovsky, J. (1971). The hippocampus as a spatial map. Preliminary evidence from unit activity in the freely-moving rat. Brain Research 34, 171-175.

O´Keefe, J. (1976). Place units in the hippocampus of the freely moving rat. Experimental Neurology 51, 78-109.

Fyhn, M., Molden, S., Witter, M.P., Moser, E.I., Moser, M.B. (2004) Spatial representation in the entorhinal cortex. Science 305, 1258-1264.

Hafting, T., Fyhn, M., Molden, S., Moser, M.B., and Moser, E.I. (2005). Microstructure of spatial map in the entorhinal cortex. Nature 436, 801-806.

Sargolini, F., Fyhn, M., Hafting, T., McNaughton, B.L., Witter, M.P., Moser, M.B., and Moser, E.I. (2006). Conjunctive representation of position, direction, and velocity in the entorhinal cortex. Science 312, 758-762.

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014


John O'Keefe

Born: 1939, New York, NY, USA
Affiliation at the time of the award: University College, London, United Kingdom
Prize motivation: "for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain"
Field: physiology, spatial behavior
Prize share: 1/2

Links to other sites - John O'Keefe's page at UCL

May-Britt Moser

Born: 1963, Fosnavag, Norway
Affiliation at the time of the award: Centre for Neural Computation, Trondheim, Norway
Prize motivation: "for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain"
Field: physiology, spatial behavior
Prize share: 1/4  

Links to other sites - May-Britt Moser's page at NTNU-Trondheim


Edvard Moser

Born: 1962, Alesund, Norway
Affiliation at the time of the award: Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience, Trondheim, Norway
Prize motivation: "for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain"
Field: physiology, spatial behavior Prize share: 1/4

Links to other sites - Edvard Moser's page at NTNU-Trondheim


사진 및 내용 출처: "The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine - Press Release". Nobelprize.org. Nobel Media AB 2014. Web. 7 Oct 2014.  

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