The brain’s GPS system wins three scientists the Nobel Prize

by Kate Barton

On October 6, three scientists, John O’Keefe, May-Britt Moser, and Edvard Moser, were awarded the Nobel Prize in Medicine for their work on the brain’s positioning system. This system allows people to create maps mentally that help with positioning and direction.

In their research on rats, a specific nerve cell was always activated when the rat was in a certain place. Different nerve cells were activated when the rats were in different areas. They also discovered what they call “grid cells” that “create a coordinate system for precise positioning and path-finding,” according to The Seattle Times.

This spatial awareness allows people to remember everyday things like how to get home or how to get to any location. It is affected in diseases like Alzheimer’s and this discovery is a hope that more breakthroughs can be made on the cause and cure of this disease.

A Bellbrook High School junior said, “Alzheimer’s runs in my family and I’ve seen the damage it causes, so I hope there can be major developments made in its prevention or even cure due to this discovery.”