Pinpointing loneliness in the brain

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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 for positive vs. negative memories discovered in mice

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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

Kay Tye named 2014 NYSCF – Robertson Investigator

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picower-tye-NYSCF

The Picower Institute congratulates Kay Tye, a Picower principal investigator and the Whitehead Career Development Assistant Professor in the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences who is one of six promising scientists the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) recently selected to receive a $1.5 million award over the next five years. The NYSCF Investigator Program, designed … Read More

Nine MIT researchers win Sloan Research Fellowships

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MIT researchers specializing in neuroscience, chemistry, mathematics, and ocean sciences are among 126 selected. Three neuroscientists, three chemists, two mathematicians, and an ocean scientist from MIT are among the 126 American and Canadian researchers awarded 2014 Sloan Research Fellowships, the Alfred P. Sloan Foundation announced today. New MIT-affiliated Sloan Research Fellows are: Gloria B. Choi, … Read More

Kay Tye Named to Tech Review’s Top-Innovators List

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Today, MIT Technology Review revealed its annual list of Innovators Under 35. For more than a decade, the publication has recognized a list of exceptionally talented technologists whose work has great potential to transform the world. For her work in biotechnology and medicine, Kay Tye, an assistant professor of brain and cognitive sciences and a … Read More

Three from MIT win NIH grants

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Boyden, Ting and Tye receive grants for innovative medical research. Three MIT faculty members have been awarded National Institutes of Health (NIH) grants designed to promote innovative biomedical research. The Institute’s recipients of these NIH grants are Edward Boyden, an associate professor of biological engineering and brain and cognitive sciences; Alice Ting, the Ellen Swallow … Read More

With NIH grant, Kay Tye will take on obesity

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The MIT professor has earned a 2013 NIH Director’s New Innovator Award to further her obesity research. MIT assistant professor of neuroscience Kay M. Tye has studied the brain circuits underlying addiction, anxiety and depression — major problems to the health of individuals and society. Now she wants to apply her training, and her own … Read More

Brain circuit can tune anxiety

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Brain circuit can tune anxiety

New findings may help neuroscientists pinpoint better targets for antianxiety treatments. Anxiety disorders, which include posttraumatic stress disorder, social phobias and obsessive-compulsive disorder, affect 40 million American adults in a given year. Currently available treatments, such as antianxiety drugs, are not always effective and have unwanted side effects. To develop better treatments, a more specific … Read More