Six faculty members are granted tenure in four departments.
… Kay Tye dissects the synaptic and cellular mechanisms in emotion and reward processing with the goal of understanding how they underpin addiction-related behaviors and frequently co-morbid disease states such as attention-deficit disorder, anxiety, and depression. Using an integrative approach including optogenetics, pharmacology, and both in vivo and ex vivo electrophysiology, she explores such problems as how neural circuits differently encode positive and negative cues from the environment; if and how perturbations in neural circuits mediating reward processing, fear, motivation, memory, and inhibitory control underlie the co-morbidity of substance abuse, attention-deficit disorder, anxiety, and depression; and how emotional states such as increased anxiety might increase the propensity for substance abuse by facilitating long-term changes associated with reward-related learning.
Tye received her BS in brain and cognitive sciences from MIT in 2003 and earned her PhD in 2008 at the University of California at San Francisco under the direction of Patricia Janak. After she completed her postdoctoral training with Karl Deisseroth at Stanford University in 2011, she returned to the MIT Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences as a faculty member in 2012. Original Article »