Brain circuitry of positive vs negative memories discovered in mice

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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

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

Creative Minds: Trying to Curb Those Sugar Cravings

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Creative Minds Trying to Curb hose Sugar Cravings

It’s that time of year again: holiday parties and family feasts! One of the most frequently made—and most often broken—New Year’s resolutions is to follow a sensible diet. All goes well until you catch sight of a cupcake or smell some cookies fresh out of the oven. Sensory cues trigger cravings that crumble resolve and, … Read More

With NIH grant, Kay Tye will take on obesity

News, Press Releases

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

Depression Eraser

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Stimulating dopamine-releasing neurons immediately extinguishes depression in mice. MIT and Stanford University researchers recently pinpointed brain cells that could be new targets for treating depression, which affects an estimated one in 10 Americans. By stimulating these cells to deliver dopamine to other parts of the brain, the researchers were able to immediately eliminate symptoms of … Read More