Questions for Kay Tye: How loneliness drives social behavior

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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

Shining Light on Madness

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Shining Light on Madness

Drugs for psychiatric illnesses aren’t very effective. But new research is offering renewed hope for better medicines. Novartis’s research lab in Cambridge, Massachusetts, a large incubator-like piece of equipment is helping give birth to a new era of psychiatric drug discovery. Inside it, bathed in soft light, lab plates hold living human stem cells; robotic … Read More

A Common Brain Pathway for Anxiety and Social Behavior

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MIT neuroscientist Kay Tye finds a discrete brain circuit that controls social interaction, which is impaired in many brain disorders. Impaired social interaction is a common feature in autism, schizophrenia, depression, and anxiety, and it contributes to many of the problems that people with these conditions face. That is particularly true for adolescents with autism … Read More