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Three scientists' work that spanned four decades has revealed the existence of the nerve cells in the brain that build up a map of the space around us and track our progress as we move around. Their discovery has won them the 2014 Nobel prize in physiology or medicine.
Following studies on rats' movement behaviour, it appears that humans are thought to have similar cells in their own brains. It is thought that damage to these areas may explain symptoms of dementia and other brain diseases. The early stages of Alzheimer’s can affect the hippocampus and entorhinal cortex, causing people to lose their way and forget their surroundings.
The work the three scientists has done has dramatically changed the understanding of the brain’s navigation and memory systems. Neuroscientists have been able to link the cellular to the cognitive and this helps explain how individual brain cells help us navigate, remember the past and imagine the future.http://www.theguardian.com/science/2014/oct/06/nobel-prize-physiology-medicine-brain-navigation