John O'keefe

The GPS of the Brain

John O'keefe

Talk: The GPS of the Brain

Nobel Laureate John O’Keefe visits the GooglePlex to talk about Place Cells, the “GPS of the Brain”. A discovery for which he received the 2014 Nobel Prize in Medicine. He explains how animals and humans find their way - by working out the relationship between where they are and where other things are. The brain does this by representing places (where you are now), and representing distances and directions. O'Keefe and his colleagues established which part of the brain does this, and how it works. All this together forms a so called "cognitive map".

John O'Keefe

O’Keefe is a Neuroscientist and Professor at University College London. But he was born in Harlem, NY, the son of immigrant parents. He grew up in the Bronx, studied aeronautical engineering at New York University. He then did an MA and PhD in physiological psychology.