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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: optogenetics

April 2018
Two mice against black background

Altered brain waves may underlie social problems in autism mice

by  /  16 April 2018

Boosting the activity of a class of neurons that dampen brain signals eases social problems in a mouse model of autism.

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A silicon nanowire touches the membrane of a rat neuron.

Silicon nanowires stimulate neurons with light

by  /  6 April 2018

Microscopic silicon wires could enable scientists to excite neurons with light without first inserting genes into them.

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March 2018
Tiny particles (blue), along with light-sensitive proteins (green) and light, excite neurons (red) in a reward region of the mouse brain.

Tiny particles safely stimulate neurons buried in brain

by  /  30 March 2018

A new technology that converts near-infrared light to visible light can manipulate neurons nestled deep in the brain.

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February 2018
Week of FebruaryFeb
12th
2018

Ultrasound exposure; maternal age; ‘special’ interests and more

by  /  16 February 2018

Autism is not associated with ultrasound frequency or duration, maternal age and education affect autism odds, and people on the spectrum benefit from their ‘special interests.’

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January 2018
A single neuron glows green after light stimulates it, whereas its neighbors (magenta) remain inactive.

Protein duet activates single neurons with light

by  /  12 January 2018

A new technique enables scientists to use a pulse of light to control the activity of a single neuron.

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November 2017
Magnetoencephalography picks up the tiny magnetic fields produced by neuronal activity.

Powerful duo of techniques charts signals’ path through brain

by  /  13 November 2017

Combining a brain imaging technique with a neuron stimulation method can reveal how activity at one site travels through neural networks in the brain.

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mouse with a sensor connected to brain

Three autism mouse models marked by defects in same circuit

by  /  8 November 2017

Problems with social interactions stem from faulty wiring of a single circuit spanning distant brain regions, results from three mouse models of autism suggest.

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October 2017
Week of OctoberOct
2nd
2017

Cannabis candidate; omega add-on; oxytocin control and more

by  /  6 October 2017

A cannabis gel may ease features of fragile X syndrome, omega fatty acids show promise for autism in two trials, and oxytocin reinforces social behaviors through the brain’s reward pathway.

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September 2017
Week of SeptemberSep
11th
2017

Maternal immunity; drug doubts; harassment scandal and more

by  /  15 September 2017

Two studies back the link between autism and maternal inflammation, other work weakens worry about antidepressant use in pregnancy, and a harassment scandal rocks a university’s cognitive science department.

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August 2017

Flash of light shifts social behavior in autism mice

by  /  2 August 2017

Turning on a set of neurons that dampen brain activity improves social behavior in a mouse model of autism; turning off neurons that excite brain activity does the same thing.

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