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Conversations with experts about noteworthy topics in autism.

Mayada Elsabbagh portrait in her messy kitchen, drinking coffee.

Beyond the bench: A conversation with Mayada Elsabbagh

by  /  13 October 2021

Mayada Elsabbagh talks about her “neurotic scheduling” (and its limits), why she is not active on social media, and her lab’s cookie time.

Previous articles

September 2021
Opinion / Q&A

Q&A with W. David Lohr: Antipsychotics, polypharmacy among autistic preschoolers

by  /  21 September 2021

Hundreds of preschool-aged children in Kentucky began taking antipsychotic medicines in 2012, according to an analysis of Medicaid records. Lohr discusses what it will it take to get them behavioral therapies instead.

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Scientist Ethan Scott takes aim with a bow and arrow in his backyard.
Opinion / Q&A

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Ethan Scott

by  /  13 September 2021

Ethan Scott packs his lab with math, physics and computer science experts to decode sensory brain networks in zebrafish models of autism.

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August 2021
Young patient speaking to counselor.
Opinion / Q&A

Q&A with Brenda Finucane: Building pipelines for genetic tests for autism

by  /  17 August 2021

Most autistic people do not receive the medically recommended genetic tests for autism. Brenda Finucane and her colleagues want to change that.

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Holly Stessman standing in her garden looking up and holding her two chickens.
Opinion / Q&A

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Holly Stessman

by  /  13 August 2021

When Holly Stessman isn’t probing autism genes, she is tending to her flock of chickens or seeking out the next great sci-fi movie.

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Image shows two young girls, identical twins, covering their faces with leaves while facing each other.
Opinion / Q&A

Q&A with John Constantino: Solving the biomarker conundrum

by  /  3 August 2021

Biological factors that reflect autism’s roots may differ from those that influence how severe the condition is. Failure to make a distinction has stymied the search for biomarkers.

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July 2021
Ofer Yizhar in his lab, framed by rectangular window and a red background.
Opinion / Q&A

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Ofer Yizhar

by  /  26 July 2021

When Yizhar isn’t building new tools to study the neural circuits underlying autism and other complex conditions, you can find him playing the piano, shooting photographs or taking long runs in the desert.

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Illustration shows certain states with multiple connections to people and other states
Opinion / Q&A

Q&A with Matthew Maenner: Estimating autism prevalence quickly

by  /  13 July 2021

A new method to track autism prevalence in 11 U.S. states is twice as fast as the old approach — and yields similar results.

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Brain composed of mulit-colored post-its
Opinion / Q&A

Q&A with Richard Bethlehem: What goes into a Brainhack

by  /  9 July 2021

Brainhack conferences offer talks and hands-on tutorials, and unite small groups of interdisciplinary researchers to work on open-source neuroscience projects.

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June 2021
Portrait of Tonya White with her bike next to the water, Rotterdam.
Opinion / Q&A

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Tonya White

by  /  29 June 2021

When Tonya White isn’t studying brain development, she might be listening to audiobooks or cycling across Europe — but she probably isn’t tweeting.

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Scientist with diagnostic tool, looking at many different choices, including the number 6.
Opinion / Q&A

How two graduate students uncovered a critical error in autism screening guidelines

by  /  22 June 2021

Spectrum spoke to the researchers who uncovered an error in autism screening guidelines that have been in use for nearly a decade.

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