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Spectrum: Autism Research News

News Archive

September 2021
Four brains showing areas affected by the X chomosome in yellow

X chromosome exerts extra influence on brain development

by  /  15 September 2021

The X chromosome holds stronger-than-expected genetic sway over the structure of several brain regions. The genes that may underlie this oversized influence have ties to autism.

Many mouths making conversation, with speech bubbles in red and blue.

Community Newsletter: “Autism Voices” and the developing cortex

by  /  12 September 2021

In this week’s Community Newsletter, we look at a new tool for interviewing young autistic people with verbal or intellectual challenges and the response to a new resource that maps autism mutations.

Colorful image of a composite of multiple brain scans showing communication patterns in different regions.

Autism mouse models cluster by brain activity pattern

by  /  10 September 2021

Four subtypes lend new support to the idea that there isn’t a single ‘hallmark’ type of brain connectivity in people with autism.

Speech bubble formed by a network of communication

Community Newsletter: When results don’t replicate, autistic study consultants

by  /  5 September 2021

In this week’s Community Newsletter, we look at the un-reproducible results of a 2007 ‘false beliefs’ study and a commentary on the benefits of autistic study consultants.

Stack of journals.

Autism study earns ‘expression of concern’ over unavailable data

by  /  3 September 2021

An autism brain imaging study published seven years ago received an expression of concern last month after its authors failed to uphold a promise to make their raw data freely available.


Placental hormone loss spurs autism-like traits in mice

by  /  2 September 2021

Mice exposed to unusually low levels of the placental hormone allopregnanolone in the womb show atypical brain development and autism-like behaviors.

neurons in organoids

Protein inhibitor normalizes neuronal migration in organoid model of autism

by  /  1 September 2021

Inhibiting a protein that helps cells move or change shape prevents atypical neuronal migration in 3D clusters of brain cells carrying autism-linked genetic variants.

August 2021
Mom and toddler with audio recording device

Video: Wearable sensors pick up early signs of autism

by  /  30 August 2021

Audio and motion-sensor recordings offer a remote window into a baby’s first years and make it easier for families to participate in research.

mouths forming a conversation

Community Newsletter: Ethical questions for autism researchers and a tribute to Dinah Murray

by  /  29 August 2021

In this week’s Community Newsletter, we look at a paper on ethical considerations for biomarker research and early interventions plus a tribute to the late autistic autism researcher Dinah Murray.

Micrograph showing missing sodium ion channels in cerebral cortex of mice with two mutated copies of SCN2A gene.

Model mice hint at sodium channel gene’s contribution to autism

by  /  27 August 2021

Altered electrical activity in the neurons of mice with a mutated copy of SCN2A may explain the animals’ autism-like social behaviors.