Interstellate: Celebrating the the beauty of neuroscience

News

interstellate-cover-mit-00

Caitlin Vander Weele, a graduate student in brain and cognitive sciences, launches a collaborative neuro-art pictorial magazine. “Scientists take beautiful images of the brain every day, and for the most part no one gets to see them,” says Caitlin Vander Weele, a graduate student in the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences. “Experiments fail … Read More

Kay Tye Receives the Society for Neuroscience Young Investigator Award

News

SfN Young Investigator Award

Picower Neuroscientist recognized for her work on emotional circuitry of the brain. On Nov. 5, the Society for Neuroscience named Kay M. Tye the recipient of its Young Investigator Award, which recognizes outstanding achievements and contributions by a young neuroscientist. Tye, assistant professor of brain and cognitive sciences at MIT and a member of the … Read More

Kay Tye Receives Young Investigator Award

News

WASHINGTON, DC — The Society for Neuroscience (SfN) will present the Young Investigator Award to Kay Tye, PhD, of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Established in 1983, the $15,000 award recognizes the outstanding achievements and contributions of a young neuroscientist who has recently received an advanced professional degree. The award will be presented during Neuroscience … Read More

Researchers Confront an Epidemic of Loneliness

News

06Loneliness-Cover-master768-v2

BLACKPOOL, England — The woman on the other end of the phone spoke lightheartedly of spring and of her 81st birthday the previous week. “Who did you celebrate with, Beryl?” asked Alison, whose job was to offer a kind ear. “No one, I…” And with that, Beryl’s cheer turned to despair. Her voice began to … Read More

New Evidence for the Necessity of Loneliness

News

Loneliness_1000x460

A specific set of neurons deep in the brain may motivate us to seek company, holding social species together. As social animals, we depend on others for survival. Our communities provide mutual aid and protection, helping humanity to endure and thrive. “We have survived as a species not because we’re fast or strong or have … Read More

Questions for Kay Tye: How loneliness drives social behavior

News

Spectrum News

Most people are wired to seek pleasure in the company of others, but individuals with autism appear to lack this drive. The chemical messenger dopamine may rouse the brain’s reward center differently in autism, dulling the pleasure from social interaction. A new study suggests that social contact is more than just a reward — it may … Read More

Neuroscientists pinpoint brain cells that represent loneliness

News

Contact with other humans isn’t just psychologically beneficial: it also provides us with evolutionary advantages. Historically, it was easier to find food and shelter as a group than it was alone, and so an instinct to seek comfort in groups has been deeply ingrained. When we’re deprived of this contact, we often become lonely, distressed and … Read More

Pinpointing loneliness in the brain

News, Press Releases

MIT-Lonely-Neurons_0

Scientists identify cells that represent feelings of isolation. Humans, like all social animals, have a fundamental need for contact with others. This deeply ingrained instinct helps us to survive; it’s much easier to find food, shelter, and other necessities with a group than alone. Deprived of human contact, most people become lonely and emotionally distressed. … Read More

Brain circuitry of positive vs negative memories discovered in mice

News

Prior to the new study, scientists suspected involvement of the circuits ultimately implicated, but were stumped by a seeming paradox. A crossroads of convergent circuits in an emotion hub deep in the brain, thebasolateral amygdala, seem to be involved in both fear and reward learning, but how one brain region could orchestrate such opposing behaviors … Read More

Neurons that tell good from bad identified

News

MIT scientists, including one of Indian-origin, have identified two populations of neurons in the amygdala that process positive and negative emotions. These neurons relay the information to other brain regions that initiate the appropriate behavioral response, said neuroscientists from Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Picower Institute for Learning and Memory. “How do we tell if something … Read More

How the brain tells good from bad

News

MIT-emotional-circuits

Eating a slice of chocolate cake or spending time with a friend usually stimulates positive feelings, while getting in a car accident or anticipating a difficult exam is more likely to generate a fearful or anxious response. An almond-shaped brain structure called the amygdala is believed to be responsible for assigning these emotional reactions. Neuroscientists … Read More

Study Reveals Brain Activities Related To Positive And Negative Perception

News

Brain circuit mechanisms that can explain how positive and negative perceptions occur have been discovered by neuroscientists. The two brain activities found by experts showed the opposing events that happen following fear and reward-anticipation. The researchers used advanced optical-gentical devices that can specify the brain activities in mice after a given situation. The study was … Read More

Brain circuitry for positive vs. negative memories discovered in mice

News, Press Releases

PN cells

Neuroscientists have discovered brain circuitry for encoding positive and negative learned associations in mice. After finding that two circuits showed opposite activity following fear and reward learning, the researchers proved that this divergent activity causes either avoidance or reward-driven behaviors. Funded by the National Institutes of Health, they used cutting-edge optical-genetic tools to pinpoint these … Read More

Getting cravings out of your head

News

Kay Tye is Skyping from a hotel in Turks and Caicos, a sultry escape from her hometown of frigid Cambridge, Massachusetts. She speaks with a breathless, wide-eyed giddiness, and with her sunburned face and ponytail, she looks the part of stoked college student. You might see Tye with her 18-month-old daughter and think new mom, … Read More