Have you ever wondered what language your brain speaks when it talks to itself? Not your inner monologue, but the coded messages that your brain uses to collect, analyze, and make predictions about your environment. What would it feel like to decode even a small fraction of the signals flashing back and forth deep inside the brain – and know exactly what they encode?
Ben is joined by Edvard Moser, who won the 2014 neuroscience Nobel prize for doing exactly that. Along with his wife May-Britt and his teacher John O’Keefe, Edvard co-discovered a system of neurons known as entorhinal grid cells, which actually encode memories of the physical environment on a tiled hexagonal grid, almost like a game board.
Edvard joins us today to talk about why neuroscience is necessary for answering psychological questions, how that realization led him to study the brain’s spatial memory system, and how that project led him to the startling discoveries that earned him one of the quickest Nobel prizes in recent history.
Enjoy, and feel free to email us questions and suggestions for next time!
(Produced by Tim Udall)