Navigating through space with Dr. May-Britt Moser

Genetic Expressions

stagepic“Wow, nice to see you all,” she said peering out from the bright lights of her stage, smiling at the crowd of over 29, 000 conference attendees. These were the first words Dr. May-Britt Moser spoke when she took the stage for SFN’s 2015 Presidential lecture last Tuesday. The question on everyone’s mind: What does this Nobel Prize winning scientist possibly have to share with us tonight? 

Retrospectively, a few key phrases immediately come to mind: Flintstone. Rats. Rats riding cars. Grids. Speed. Pedunculopontine tegmental nucleus of the mesencephalic locomotor region. Right. Let’s not get ahead of ourselves. I’d like to actually go through the (old and new) data she presented, but first —

A word on neuronal naming conventions: Stimulus-responsive cells are named based on the specific stimulus parameter they are most sensitive to. In other words, they fire (or in the words of May-Britt Moser: pop-pop-pop-pop-pop!) when they are presented with a stimulus they like. For example a flapperdoodle cell…

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