• 01/08/2015

Thu. Jan. 15, 5pm: Public talk on the brain's own positioning system

Nobel laureate Edvard Moser explains our "sense of space"

How do we know where we are? The search for answers led to the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, and insights from this trail-blazing neuroscience research could inspire future technological breakthroughs. In a public lecture at the Technische Universität München (Thursday Jan. 15, 17:00), Nobel laureate Edvard Moser will explain what he and colleagues have discovered about the brain's own positioning system.

Prof. Edvard Moser during a visit to TUM in October 2014 (Photo: Astrid Eckert / TUM).
Prof. Edvard Moser during a visit to TUM in October 2014 (Photo: Astrid Eckert / TUM).

The 2014 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine was awarded to Professors Edvard and May-Britt Moser of NTNU in Trondheim, Norway, and to Prof. John O'Keefe of University College London, for their discoveries of cells that constitute a positioning system in the brain.

Thu. Jan 15, 5pm: "Neural maps of space: How do we know where we are?"(Prof. Edvard Moser)

In this talk, one of the discoverers of the brain's built-in system for orientation and pathfinding will describe how it works. Areas of the brain called the entorhinal cortex and the hippocampus form a map of external space that is updated in real time. This universally applicable neural map consists of a number of different functionally specialized cell types, which work together in a complex neural network.

Prof. Moser will focus especially on the role of so-called "grid cells," discovered in his laboratory, which interact with "direction cells" and "border cells" to generate and dynamically update an internal map that helps us find our way from one place to the next.

GRIDMAP: European research collaboration with TUM

Further research is building on these fundamental discoveries with the aim of enabling advances in high-performance computing and robotics. Toward this end, the TUM research group in Neuroscientific System Theory, led by Prof. Jörg Conradt, is collaborating with researchers in Edinburgh, Trieste, and Trondheim. They are partners in an EU-funded project, coordinated by Prof. Moser, called "GRIDMAP: From Brains to Technical Implementations."

Further information:

Technical University of Munich

Corporate Communications Center

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