May-Britt Moser

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May-Britt Moser
May-Britt Moser 2014.jpg
May-Britt Moser in 2014.
(Photographer: Henrik Fjørtoft / NTNU Communication Division)
Born (1963-01-04) 4 January 1963 (age 56)
ResidenceTrondheim, Norway
Alma materUniversity of Oslo
Known forGrid cells, Neurons
Spouse(s)Edvard Moser (1985–2016)
AwardsLouis-Jeantet Prize for Medicine (2011)
Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (2014)
Scientific career
FieldsNeuroscience, Psychology
InstitutionsNorwegian University of Science and Technology
University of Edinburgh
Doctoral advisorPer Andersen

May-Britt Moser (born 4 January 1963) is a Norwegian psychologist, neuroscientist, and head of department of the Centre for Neural Computation at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). She and her then-husband, Edvard Moser, shared half of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine,[1][2][3] awarded for work concerning the grid cells in the entorhinal cortex, as well as several additional space-representing cell types in the same circuit that make up the positioning system in the brain.[4]

Personal life

May-Britt was born in Fosnavåg, Møre og Romsdal, Norway in 1963. She and her husband attended the same high school, but didn't know each other that well before they ended up at the same university. Moser's favorite subjects in high school were mathematics and physics. They agreed that they should study psychology together and work together and their relationship went from there. They married in 1985 and have two daughters together.[5] They announced that they are divorcing in 2016.[6]


May-Britt Moser was awarded a degree in psychology from the University of Oslo in 1990. She thereafter was awarded her Ph.D. in Neurophysiology from the University of Oslo in 1995,[7] under the supervision of professor Per Andersen. She and Edvard Moser went on to undertake postdoctoral training with Richard Morris at the Centre for Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh from 1994 to 1996, and were visiting postdoctoral fellows at the laboratory of John O'Keefe at the University College, London for two months.

The Mosers returned to Norway in 1996 where May-Britt was appointed associate professor in biological psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. She was promoted to a position as full professor of neuroscience at NTNU in 2000. The couple were instrumental in the establishment of the Centre for the Biology of Memory (CBM) in 2002 and the Institute for Systems Neuroscience at NTNU in 2007. Moser is also head of department of the NTNU Centre for Neural Computation. She also is a member of the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters,[8] Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters,[9] and the Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences.[10] Moser was appointed by the European Research Council as a member of one of the evaluation panels for ERC startup grants for the period 2007–2009.

The Mosers pioneered research on the brain's mechanism for representing space together with their mentor John O'Keefe. The Mosers discovered types of cells that are important for determining position (spatial representation) close to the hippocampus, an area deep in the brain that is important for encoding of space, and also for episodic memory. Moser investigated correlations between the anatomical structure of the hippocampus and social learning in rats. Moser's work gave the ability for scientists to gain new knowledge into the cognitive processes and spatial deficits associated with human neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.

In 2014, the Mosers shared half of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine. The other half of the prize was awarded to John O'Keefe. The Mosers were one of five couples to be awarded a Nobel Prize.

May-Britt Moser was a co-Founder of the Centre for the Biology of Memory, a Research Council of Norway-funded Centre of Excellence from 2003 to 2012, and has taken on the Directorship of the Centre for Neural Computation, a second Centre of Excellence that will run from 2013 to 2022.[11]

In 2013, the Trondheim Chamber of Commerce awarded Moser the Madame Beyer award, which recognizes brilliant female business leaders. It was awarded in recognition of Moser's superb leadership, scientific achievements, and her high ethical standards, as well as her consistent focus on teamwork and community spirit.[12]


Selected publications

  • Brun, V.H., Otnæss, M.K., Molden, S., Steffenach, H.-A., Witter, M.P., Moser, M.-B., Moser, E.I. (2002). "Place cells and place representation maintained by direct entorhinal-hippocampal circuitry". Science, 296, 2089–2284.
  • Fyhn, M., Molden, S., Witter, M.P., Moser, E.I. and Moser, M.-B. (2004). "Spatial representation in the entorhinal cortex". Science, 305, 1258–1264.
  • Leutgeb, S., Leutgeb, J.K., Treves, A., Moser, M.-B. and Moser, E.I. (2004). "Distinct ensemble codes in hippocampal areas CA3 and CA1". Science, 305, 1295–1298.
  • Leutgeb, S., Leutgeb, J.K., Barnes, C.A., Moser, E.I., McNaughton, B.L., and Moser, M.-B (2005). "Independent codes for spatial and episodic memory in the hippocampus". Science, 309, 619–623.
  • Hafting, T., Fyhn, M., Molden, S., Moser, M.-B., and Moser, E.I. (2005). "Microstructure of a spatial map in the entorhinal cortex". Nature, 436, 801–806.
  • Sargolini, F., Fyhn, M., Hafting, T., McNaughton, B.L., Witter, M.P., Moser, M.-B., and Moser, E.I. (2006). "Conjunctive representation of position, direction and velocity in entorhinal cortex". Science, 312, 754–758.
  • Leutgeb, J.K., Leutgeb, S., Moser, M.-B., and Moser, E.I. (2007). "Pattern separation in dentate gyrus and CA3 of the hippocampus". Science, 315, 961–966.
  • Fyhn, M., Hafting, T., Treves, A., Moser, M.-B. and Moser, E.I. (2007). "Hippocampal remapping and grid realignment in entorhinal cortex". Nature, 446, 190–194.
  • Hafting, T., Fyhn, M., Bonnevie, T., Moser, M.-B. and Moser, E.I. (2008). "Hippocampus-independent phase precession in entorhinal grid cells". Nature 453, 1248–1252.
  • Kjelstrup, K.B., Solstad, T., Brun, V.H., Hafting, T., Leutgeb, S., Witter, M.P., Moser, E.I. and Moser, M.-B. (2008). "Finite scales of spatial representation in the hippocampus". Science 321, 140–143.
  • Solstad, T., Boccara, C.N., Kropff, E., Moser, M.-B. and Moser, E.I. (2008). "Representation of geometric borders in the entorhinal cortex". Science, 322, 1865–1868.
  • Moser, E.I., Moser, M.-B. (2011). "Crystals of the brain". EMBO Mol. Med. 3, 1-4.
  • Moser, E.I., Moser, M.-B. (2011). "Seeing into the future". Nature, 469, 303–304
  • Jezek, K., Henriksen, EJ., Treves, A., Moser, E.I. and Moser, M.-B. (2011). "Theta-paced flickering between place-cell maps in the hippocampus". Nature, 478, 246–249.
  • Giocomo, LM., Moser, E.I., Moser, M.-B. (2011) "Grid cells use HCN1 channels for spatial scaling". Cell, 147, 1159–1170.

See also


  1. ^ a b May-Britt Moser profile: The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine,; accessed 7 October 2014.
  2. ^ May-Britt Moser profile,; accessed 7 October 2014.
  3. ^ "The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014". Retrieved 7 February 2017.
  4. ^ Fenton, André A. (1 June 2015). "Coordinating with the "Inner GPS"". Hippocampus. 25 (6): 763–769. doi:10.1002/hipo.22451. ISSN 1098-1063. PMID 25800714.
  5. ^ Gorman, James (29 April 2013). "A Sense of Where You Are". New York Times. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  6. ^ "Nobelpris-paret Moser skilles". 25 January 2016.
  7. ^ Moser, M-B. (1995). Structural correlates of spatial learning in the hippocampus of adult rats. Thesis for the degree of Ph.D, University of Oslo (Defended, 9 December 1995)
  8. ^ "Gruppe IV Generell biologi" (in Norwegian). Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters. Retrieved 6 October 2014.
  9. ^ "Gruppe 7: Medisinske fag" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Retrieved 28 October 2009.
  10. ^ "Medlemmer: Moser, May Britt" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences. Retrieved 11 May 2013.
  11. ^ "May-Britt Moser – Biographical". The Official Website of the Nobel Prize. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  12. ^ ""Best female boss" – Madame Beyer award goes to May-Britt Moser". NTNU Medesin og helse. Retrieved 10 October 2017.
  13. ^ The Anders Jahre Senior Medical Prize
  14. ^ 13th Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize Recipients UNC Neuroscience Center. Retrieved 23 September 2013
  15. ^ "The Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize - Columbia University Irving Medical Center". 26 November 2013.
  16. ^ Award Ceremonies Retrieved 21 March 2014
  17. ^ "Utnevnelser til St. Olavs Orden". (in Norwegian). Retrieved 21 February 2018.

External links