By developing a new approach to imaging and manipulating particular groups of neurons in the mouse brain, scientists have identified a pathway by which neurons that drive hunger influence distant neurons involved in the decision of whether or not to react to food-related cues. Their findings could open the door to targeted therapies that dampen food cue-evoked cravings in people with obesity.

Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), researchers have identified certain brain regions that significantly correlate with an increase in social abilities following a virtual environment based training program. Adults on the autism spectrum who showed greater activity in the social brain network prior to the training improved more in emotion recognition than those who showed less activity.

Radiation therapy (RT) using high-energy particles is a common and critical component in successfully treating patients with brain tumors but it is also associated with significant adverse effects. In a new study, researchers report that irradiation can cause broader adverse effects, altering the structural network properties in impacted brains and perhaps contributing to delayed cognitive impairments observed in many patients following brain RT.