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Discovering The Brain’s GPS Earns Three A Nobel
Three neuroscientists who uncovered how the brain understands where the body is in space have won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, judges announced today.

Discovering The Brain’s GPS Earns Three A Nobel

Three neuroscientists who uncovered how the brain understands where the body is in space have won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, judges announced today.

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Discovering The Brain’s GPS Earns Three A Nobel

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by Michael Keller

Three neuroscientists who uncovered how the brain understands where the body is in space have won the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine, judges announced today. 

"How do we know where we are? How can we find the way from one place to another?" wrote the Nobel Assembly in making the announcement. “This year´s Nobel Laureates have discovered a positioning system, an ‘inner GPS’ in the brain that makes it possible to orient ourselves.”

Half of the prize went to John O’Keefe, an American and British citizen who is now the head of University College London’s Sainsbury Wellcome Center in Neural Circuits and Behavior. In 1971, O’Keefe found that certain neurons in a rat’s brain activated when the animal was in one location. When it moved somewhere else, other cells lit up. O’Keefe proposed that this activity engendered a sense of place and develop into a map of the external world. Furthermore, the collection of different “place cell” activations for a particular environment could be saved to remember a particular place later.

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How can great musicians seem to do the impossible?

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by Joel N. Shurkin, Inside Science

Even old jokes can have a scientific basis in fact.

You know the one about the tourist who stops a native New Yorker on the street and asks, “Excuse me sir, but how do you get to Carnegie Hall?”

"Practice, practice, practice."

That New Yorker is absolutely correct. Scientists have found that the brains of professional musicians are physiologically different from the brains of other people, and they got that way mostly because of practice, practice, practice.

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Last week, we brought you an AsapSCIENCE video uncovering seven myths about the brain you thought were true. This week, we stumbled on this one from Alltime Numbers that puts the organ in our noggin into perspective.

Check out the gifs above and the whole video below.

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