★★☆Three Scientists Win Nobel Prize for Brain Research

2014年10月10日 ★★☆, Science in the News, VOA.

Read and understand the story. If you may have any difficult words to pronounce and words you cannot understand, always ask your teacher.

*Teachers will divide the article into 2-3 paragraphs to help you understand and check the pronunciation of the difficult words.


*Read the words carefully.

  1. activate /ˈæktəˌveɪt/ (v.)to cause (a chemical reaction or natural process) to begin
  2. grid /ˈgrɪd/ (n.) a pattern of lines that cross each other to form squares on a piece of paper, a map, etc.
  3. positioning /pəˈzɪʃən/ (n.) providing information on the location of something
  4. discover /dɪˈskʌvɚ/ (adj.)to see, find, or become aware of (something) for the first time
  5. nerve /ˈnɚv/ (n.)a thin piece of tissue that sends information through the body to and from the brain


Three Scientists Win Nobel Prize for Brain Research

* Read the text below

MP3 Download (right-click or option-click and save)

 (1)American-born British Scientist John O’Keefe and Norwegians May-Britt Moser and Edvard Moser won the Nobel Prize in medicine. They discovered how the brain knows the body’s location.

(2) The Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute announced the prize on Monday. According to the assembly, the prize winners answered an important question about the brain: how does it draw a kind of map of the space we are in? This map helps us move through our environment.

(3) Professor John O’Keefe is the director of the Sainsbury Wellcome Center in Neural Circuits and Behavior at University College London. He discovered the mapping ability in 1971. He noticed that certain nerve cells started working in a rat’s brain when it was in one part of a room. When the rat was in a different part of the room, other nerve cells were activated in another part of the brain.

(4) The other winners, Edvard and May-Britt Moser, are married to each other. They have worked together since they were college students. They found another nerve cell in a rat’s brain that creates a grid system. This grid connects with the mapping cells to make up the brain’s positioning system.

(5) Other research suggests that humans have the same kinds of brain cells.

(6) The Nobel panel says the discoveries have opened new ways to understand other mental activities. The work of the award winners helps us to understand more about memory, thinking and planning.

(7) The award comes with a $1.1 million prize. Half goes to Professor O’Keefe. May-Britt and Edvard Moser will divide the other half.

(8) On Tuesday, the Nobel Prize in physics will be awarded, followed by the chemistry prize on Wednesday, literature on Thursday and the Nobel Peace Prize on Friday.


*Let’s talk about the article base on the questions below

  1. What is a Nobel Prize? Does your country have many Nobel Prize winners?
  2. Should a Nobel Prize winner try to change the world? Why do you say so?
  3. Would you rather win a Nobel Prize, an Oscar, an Olympic gold medal or a World Cup winner’s medal? Why?

Tags: , , , ,