Dear colleagues and students
Just a few days after we successfully hosted our first Vice-Chancellor’s Open Lecture for 2023, I write to invite you to the second one to be held next week. It will be presented by Professor Edvard Moser, internationally acclaimed neuroscientist and Nobel Prize laureate.
Professor Moser, the co-director of the Kavli Institute for Systems Neuroscience at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology, will present a lecture titled “Neural computation of space and time”.
The lecture will review recent advances in the understanding of brain mechanisms for tracking space and time. He will show that the brain contains specialised place-coding cell types called grid cells and that a position code arises in networks of hundreds of interacting grid cells. Data suggests that the code is generated not primarily by integration of sensory inputs but rather by internal neural network dynamics. The lecture will further demonstrate how a separate neural population encodes the passage of time, across scales from seconds to hours. The space and time-coding networks are among the first to be hit in Alzheimer’s disease.
Professor Moser investigates neural network coding in the cortex, with emphasis on space, time and memory. His work, in collaboration with Professor May-Britt Moser, includes the discovery of grid cells, a key element of the brain’s spatial mapping system. While the Mosers’ main focus is on the normal and healthy brain, their work has direct implications for our understanding of the etiology of Alzheimer’s disease, which at the earliest stages is characterised by neurodegeneration in the very same brain circuits for space, time and memory that the Mosers are investigating in normal brains.
Professor Moser is currently unravelling how neural microcircuits for space and time are organised as interactions between large numbers of diverse neurons with known functional identity. This is enabled by his participation in the development of Neuropixels probes and 2-photon miniscopes for freely moving rodents.
He has received numerous awards, including the 2014 Nobel Prize in Medicine or Physiology, shared with Professors May-Britt Moser and John O’Keefe.
Please attend this lecture to hear from one of the finest minds in the discipline of neuroscience globally.
When: Wednesday, 22 March 2023
Time: 18:00 SAST
Venue: Neuroscience Institute Auditorium, E-Floor, New Main Building, Groote Schuur Hospital, Observatory
Emeritus Professor Daya Reddy
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