2014 Karl Spencer Lashley Award

2014 Autumn General Meeting

Edvard and May-Britt Moser

The American Philosophical Society is pleased to announce the recipients of the 2014 Karl Spencer Lashley Award are Edvard and May-Britt Moser "in recognition of their discovery of grid cells in entorhinal cortex, and their pioneering physiological studies of hippocampus, which have transformed understanding of the neural computations underlying spatial memory." Professor Edvard Moser leads the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience and May-Britt Moser is Director of the Centre for Neural Computation, both at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology. The award was presented to the Mosers on November 9, 2014, at the Society's annual Autumn General Meeting.

Edvard and May-Britt Moser have carried out pioneering studies of the neural circuitry in the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex, structures of the brain long known to be involved in memory. They discovered a new cell type in entorhinal cortex, grid cells, illuminated how information is represented in place cells of the hippocampus, and identified separate operations for its CA1 and CA3 fields. Grid cells are neurons in the entorhinal cortex that provide a map of the spatial environment. Unlike place cells, which fire when the animal is at a single location, grid cells have multiple firing fields which form a periodic triangular matrix tiling the entire environment. Their work has transformed understanding of how these structures operate to support spatial processing and memory.

The Karl Spencer Lashley Award was established in 1957 by a gift from Dr. Lashley, a member of the Society and a distinguished neuroscientist and neuropsychologist. His entire scientific life was spent in the study of behavior and its neural basis. Dr. Lashley’s famous experiments on the brain mechanisms of learning, memory and intelligence helped inaugurate the modern era of integrative neuroscience, and the Lashley Award recognizes innovative work that continues exploration in the field.

The selection committee consisted of Larry R. Squire (chair), Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry, Neurosciences, and Psychology, UCSD School of Medicine, Research Career Scientist, VA Medical Center, San Diego; John Dowling, Gordon and Llura Gund Professor of Neurosciences, Harvard University; William T. Newsome III, Professor of Neurobiology, Stanford University School of Medicine, Investigator, Howard Hughes Medical Institute; Fernando Nottebohm, Dorothea L. Leonhardt Professor, Laboratory of Animal Behavior, Rockefeller University; and Carla J. Shatz, Director, BioX, Stanford University.