STOCKHOLM (AP) — How do we remember where we parked the car? And how do we figure out a shortcut to work when there's a big traffic jam?
The brain, it turns out, has a GPS-like function that enables people to produce mental maps and navigate the world — a discovery for which three scientists won the Nobel Prize in medicine Monday.
Husband-and-wife scientists Edvard Moser and May-Britt Moser of Norway and New York-born researcher John O'Keefe were honored for breakthroughs in experiments on rats that could help pave the way for a better understanding of human diseases such as Alzheimer's.
"We can actually begin to investigate what goes wrong" in Alzheimer's, said O'Keefe, a dual British-American citizen. He said the findings might also help scientists design tests that can pick up the very earliest signs of the mind-robbing disease, whose victims lose their spatial memory and get easily lost.
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