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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Spotted A roundup of autism papers and media mentions you may have missed.

Spotted around the web: Dance revolution, Angelman trial, predicting proteins

by  /  4 December 2020

November 30th

Research roundup

  • The idea that autistic people tend to avoid looking at other people’s eyes and look instead at their mouths has been dealt a fresh blow: They show no difference from non-autistic people, according to a new eye-tracking study. Molecular Autism
  • Intimate relationships in which one partner has autism seem to develop much like those of non-autistic couples. Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders
  • Adolescent girls on the spectrum tend to show more vocal expressiveness than their male peers, which may explain why their social difficulties often go unnoticed. Autism Research
  • A motion-tracking device for video games can assess a person’s ability to mimic dance movements more accurately than human observers can, and may be useful for assessing these skills in autism. Biological Psychiatry: Cognitive Neuroscience and Neuroimaging
  • Autistic children are more likely to be physically active if they feel safe in their neighborhood. Autism Research
  • Multiple U.S. databases collect information about autism or substance misuse by adolescents, but few collect both, leaving substance-misuse patterns among autistic youth understudied. Autism in Adulthood
  • When faced with a cognitively challenging task, autistic people tend to rely on ‘reactive executive control’ to work through it in real time; non-autistic people may spend more cognitive energy to prepare for the task. Biological Psychiatry

Science and society

  • An autistic writer recognizes his own experience in the alien characters on the television show “3rd Rock from the Sun,” who are bewildered by earthlings’ behavior. Nerdist
  • An autistic man was admitted to a Michigan hospital with COVID-19, but his mother was prevented from accompanying him. Detroit Free Press
  • Adults on the spectrum who live in group homes in Israel have faced isolation and confusion because of pandemic-related restrictions.
    The Jerusalem Post
  • OV101, an experimental treatment for Angelman syndrome from Ovid Therapeutics, failed to show any benefit in a phase 3 clinical trial. Evaluate Vantage
  • AlphaFold, a program created by Google’s artificial intelligence network, has solved a decades-long challenge in biology: accurately predicting a protein’s 3D structure from its amino-acid sequence. Nature
  • The latest “National Autism Indicators Report,” with a focus on health and healthcare, has been published. A.J. Drexel Autism Institute

Autism and the arts

  • James Lee, a California teenager with autism, had a painting selected for an exhibition at the de Young Museum in San Francisco. Pacific Sun
  • Thomas Kildren, an independent game developer, has created a new video game that features the artwork of his autistic son. The Jambar

TAGS:   autism