Brain mapping award

How do people know where they are and how they got there? Two scientists who have helped identify the brain’s mapping system have earned the 2006 University of Louisville Grawemeyer Award for Psychology.

John O’Keefe and Lynn Nadel, who explained their theory in a 1978 book, “The Hippocampus as a Cognitive Map” and in later journal articles, are both university researchers. O’Keefe is professor of cognitive neuroscience in the anatomy and developmental biology department at University College London. Nadel directs the cognition and neural systems program at the University of Arizona.

Coincidentally a piece on John O’Keefe just appeared last night on Channel 5 focusing on his study of the navigational abilities of London taxi drivers. I’ve even been a volunteer myself at his neurology labs at UCL, with his lowly PhD students as the scan shows..