Edvard Moser

Neuroscientist Edvard Moser was awarded the 2014 Nobel Prize, together with his wife May-Britt Moser and John O'Keefe, for his discoveries on spatial orientation. Moser had succeeded in identifying neurons in the human brain that form a navigation system - the so-called "grid cells". They allow people to orient themselves in space and remember the paths they have taken.

In interaction with another group of neurons, the place cells, the brain generates an up-to-date map of the environment at any given time. It is only through this interaction of place and grid cells, as well as cells that specialise in the boundaries of objects or the orientation of the head, that an overall picture emerges.

In the newly established Berlin laboratory, Edvard Moser and Dietmar Schmitz want to build on this very fundamental discovery and understand the functioning of grid cells in more detail. The group will study the parasubiculum - a special region of the brain with grid cells whose involvement in orientation and spatial memory is still largely unexplained. State-of-the-art methods will be used to analyse the network activity of the parasubiculum that underlies spatial navigation.