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Professor describes cognitive mapping at Feinstein Institutes’ Match Lecture

2014 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine John O'Keefe, MA, PhD, speaks at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research.
2014 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine John O'Keefe, MA, PhD, speaks at the Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research.

Hippocampus as cognitive map

MANHASSET, NY —

The Feinstein Institutes for Medical Research hosted a Match Lecture by 2014 Nobel Laureate in Physiology or Medicine John O'Keefe, MA, PhD, who discussed the idea that the hippocampus is a cognitive map.

“When we started researching the hippocampus, we did so out of pure curiosity – we knew it might have something to do with memory, but didn’t know the hippocampus would be involved in diseases,” said John O'Keefe, MA, PhD, professor of Cognitive Neuroscience at the Sainsbury Wellcome Centre in the Department of Cell and Developmental Biology at the University College London.

“After years of studying this fascinating part of the brain, we know that the more active your hippocampus, the better navigator you are," he added. "So if we could stop the spread of tau protein from the hippocampus to the cortex, those facing Alzheimer’s disease could have an improved life.”

About Match Lectures

The Match Lecture on June 20 was made possible by an endowment from the late Robert K. Match and his family, and is held regularly by the Feinstein Institutes. The Match Lecture invites Nobel Laureate scientists from around the world to speak to its faculty and staff.

“Dr. O'Keefe shared an overview of his years in studying cognitive mapping and the hippocampus, and in the tradition of the Match Lectures, offered our researchers innovative approaches to incorporate into their studies,” said Kevin J. Tracey, MD, president and CEO of the Feinstein Institutes.