Professor O’Keefe made the first key discovery in understanding the brain’s navigation system in 1971 when he identified “place cells” which map the environment around us.
Responding to this, Dr Doug Brown, Director of Research and Development at Alzheimer’s Society, said:
‘We congratulate John O’Keefe on being awarded this prestigious prize. Our increased knowledge and understanding of how key parts of the brain function, including how we build an internal map of places and locations, is in large part indebted to his research. Understanding how the healthy brain functions, especially areas of the brain crucial to learning and memory, is incredibly important in understanding what changes occur during conditions such as Alzheimer’s disease.
‘We can rightly be proud of Britain’s record of achievement in neuroscience and brain research. So that we can find ways of preventing or even curing conditions like Alzheimer’s it is imperative we see this continue. Alzheimer’s Society has committed at least £100m to research over the next decade to support and guide the UK’s brightest minds while they work on the brain’s greatest problem.’