May-Britt Moser

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May-Britt Moser
May-Britt Moser 2014.jpg
May-Britt Moser in 2014.
(Photographer: Henrik Fjørtoft / NTNU Communication Division)
Born (1963-01-04) 4 January 1963 (age 57)
Fosnavåg, Norway
Residence Trondheim, Norway
Nationality Norwegian
Fields Neuroscience
Institutions Norwegian University of Science and Technology
University of Edinburgh
Alma mater University of Oslo
Known for Grid cells, Neurons
Notable awards Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine (2014)
Spouse Edvard Moser (1985–2016)

May-Britt Moser (born 4 January 1963) is a Norwegian psychologist, neuroscientist, and head of department of the Centre for Neural Computation at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU). She and her then-husband, Edvard Moser, pioneered research on the brain's mechanism for representing space together with their mentor John O'Keefe. They shared the 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine with O'Keefe,[1] awarded for work concerning the grid cells in the entorhinal cortex, as well as several additional space-representing cell types in the same circuit that make up the positioning system in the brain. Moser discovered types of cells that are important for determining position (spatial representation) close to the hippocampus, an area located in the center of the brain. Moser investigated correlations between the anatomical structure of the hippocampus and social learning in rats. Moser's work gave the ability for scientists to gain new knowledge into the cognitive processes and spacial deficits associated with human neurological conditions such as Alzheimer's disease.

The Mosers were educated at the University of Oslo and were appointed associate professors in psychology and neuroscience at NTNU in 1996. They were instrumental in the establishment of the Centre for the Biology of Memory (CBM) in 2002 and the Institute for Systems Neuroscience at NTNU in 2007. The Moser's were 1 in 5 other couples to win a Nobel Prize.

Personal life

May-Britt was born in Fosnavåg, Møre and Romsdal, Norway in 1963. She and her husband attended the same high school, but didn't know each other that well before they ended up at the same university. Moser's favorite subjects in high school were mathematics and physics. They agreed that they should study psychology together and work together and their relationship went from there. They married in 1985[2] and have two daughters together. They announced that they are divorcing in 2016.[3]


May-Britt Moser was awarded a degree in psychology from the University of Oslo in 1990. She thereafter was awarded her Ph.D. in Neurophysiology from the University of Oslo in 1995,[4] under the supervision of professor Per Andersen. Moser went on to undertake postdoctoral training with Richard Morris at the Centre for Neuroscience, University of Edinburgh from 1994 to 1996, and was a visiting postdoctoral fellow at the laboratory of John O'Keefe at the University College, London for two months.

Moser returned to Norway in 1996 to be appointed associate professor in biological psychology at the Norwegian University of Science and Technology (NTNU) in Trondheim. She was promoted to a position as full professor of neuroscience at NTNU in 2000. Moser is also head of department of the NTNU Centre for Neural Computation. She was awarded one quarter of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2014, along with her husband Edvard, with the other half going to John O'Keefe.[5] She also is a member of the Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters,[6] Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters,[7] and the Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences.[8]

May-Britt Moser was a co-Founder of the Centre for the Biology of Memory, a Research Council-funded Centre of Excellence from 2003 to 2012, and has taken on the Directorship of the Centre for Neural Computation, with a life time from 2013 to 2022.



  • Moser was appointed by the European Research Council as a member of one of the evaluation panels for ERC startup grants for the period 2007-2009.
  • In 2013 Moser received the Madame Beyer "Best female boss" award, in recognition of Moser's superb leadership, scientific achievements, and her high ethical standards, as well as her consistent focus on teamwork and community spirit.

Selected publications

  • Brun, V.H., Otnæss, M.K., Molden, S., Steffenach, H.-A., Witter, M.P., Moser, M.-B., Moser, E.I. (2002). Place cells and place representation maintained by direct entorhinal-hippocampal circuitry. Science, 296, 2089-2284.
  • Fyhn, M., Molden, S., Witter, M.P., Moser, E.I. and Moser, M.-B. (2004). Spatial representation in the entorhinal cortex.Science, 305, 1258-1264.
  • Leutgeb, S., Leutgeb, J.K., Treves, A., Moser, M.-B. and Moser, E.I. (2004). Distinct ensemble codes in hippocampal areas CA3 and CA1. Science, 305, 1295-1298.
  • Leutgeb, S., Leutgeb, J.K., Barnes, C.A., Moser, E.I., McNaughton, B.L., and Moser, M.-B (2005). Independent codes for spatial and episodic memory in the hippocampus. Science, 309, 619-623.
  • Hafting, T., Fyhn, M., Molden, S., Moser, M.-B., and Moser, E.I. (2005). Microstructure of a spatial map in the entorhinal cortex.Nature, 436, 801-806.
  • Sargolini, F., Fyhn, M., Hafting, T., McNaughton, B.L., Witter, M.P., Moser, M.-B., and Moser, E.I. (2006). Conjunctive representation of position, direction and velocity in entorhinal cortex. Science, 312, 754-758.
  • Leutgeb, J.K., Leutgeb, S., Moser, M.-B., and Moser, E.I. (2007). Pattern separation in dentate gyrus and CA3 of the hippocampus. Science, 315, 961-966.
  • Fyhn, M., Hafting, T., Treves, A., Moser, M.-B. and Moser, E.I. (2007). Hippocampal remapping and grid realignment in entorhinal cortex. Nature, 446, 190-194.
  • Hafting, T., Fyhn, M., Bonnevie, T., Moser, M.-B. and Moser, E.I. (2008). Hippocampus-independent phase precession in entorhinal grid cells. Nature 453, 1248-1252.
  • Kjelstrup, K.B., Solstad, T., Brun, V.H., Hafting, T., Leutgeb, S., Witter, M.P., Moser, E.I. and Moser, M.-B. (2008). Finite scales of spatial representation in the hippocampus. Science 321, 140-143.
  • Solstad, T., Boccara, C.N., Kropff, E., Moser, M.-B. and Moser, E.I. (2008). Representation of geometric borders in the entorhinal cortex. Science, 322, 1865-1868.
  • Moser, E.I., Moser, M-B. (2011). Crystals of the brain. EMBO Mol. Med. 3, 1-4.
  • Moser, E.I., Moser, M-B. (2011). Seeing into the future. Nature, 469, 303-4
  • Jezek, K., Henriksen, EJ., Treves, A., Moser, E.I. and Moser, M-B. (2011). Theta-paced flickering between place-cell maps in the hippocampus. Nature, 478, 246-249.
  • Giocomo, LM., Moser, E.I., Moser, M-B. (2011) Grid cells use HCN1 channels for spatial scaling. Cell, 147, 1159-1170.


  1. May-Britt Moser profile,; accessed 7 October 2014.
  4. Moser, M-B. (1995). Structural correlates of spatial learning in the hippocampus of adult rats. Thesis for the degree of Ph.D, University of Oslo (Defended, 9 December 1995)
  5. 5.0 5.1 May-Britt Moser profile: The 2014 Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine,; accessed 7 October 2014.
  6. "Gruppe IV Generell biologi" (in Norwegian). Royal Norwegian Society of Sciences and Letters. Retrieved 6 October 2014.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  7. "Gruppe 7: Medisinske fag" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Academy of Science and Letters. Retrieved 28 October 2009.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  8. "Medlemmer: MOSER, May Britt" (in Norwegian). Norwegian Academy of Technological Sciences. Retrieved 11 May 2013.CS1 maint: unrecognized language (link)<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  9. The Anders Jahre Senior Medical Prize
  10. 13th Perl-UNC Neuroscience Prize Recipients UNC Neuroscience Center. Retrieved 23 September 2013
  11. Louisa Gross Horwitz Prize 2013
  12. Award Ceremonies Retrieved 21 March 2014

External links