Skip to main content

Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: social deficits

October 2021
Two colorful mouse neurons seen side by side on black, one has a mutation.

Precocious neurons may stunt brain growth in rare form of autism

by  /  5 October 2021

The first animal model of MYT1L syndrome suggests that fast-maturing neurons lead to the unusually small brains, social deficits and other traits seen in people with the condition.

0 Comments
September 2021
Researcher hands on three brain images taken at different ages, of different conditions.

The search for a link between autism and neurodegenerative conditions

by  /  28 September 2021

Autistic people have a higher-than-average chance of developing a neurodegenerative condition, according to a few studies. Some scientists are searching for proof — work that could also improve care for older autistic adults.

0 Comments
August 2021

Drugs boost serotonin, socialization in multiple autism mouse models

by  /  6 August 2021

The finding that MDMA and an experimental serotonin agonist increase sociability across six different model mice suggests that disparate autism-linked mutations converge on the same underlying pathways.

0 Comments
July 2021
Illustration shows a woman whose mouth is covered by a cloud and whos eyes are covered by a cloud.

Double empathy, explained

by  /  22 July 2021

The double empathy theory challenges the idea that social difficulties are specific to autism and suggests that problems arise from a mismatch in perspective between autistic and non-autistic people.

0 Comments
Illustration shows mouse with colorful wires attached, interacting with another mouse.

How to avoid common pitfalls when parsing circuit control of social behavior

by  /  20 July 2021

When probing the circuits underlying social behavior in animal models of autism, researchers should consider potentially confounding variables, use multiple behavioral assays and report results in a descriptive and unbiased manner.

0 Comments
Immature inhibitory cells surround mature neuron.

Critical time window flagged for autism gene’s influence

by  /  16 July 2021

A transplant of inhibitory neurons during the second week of life prevents social difficulties and a brain signaling imbalance in mice missing a copy of FOXG1.

0 Comments
Four brown lab mice in a cage, top-down view, with one mouse away from the group.

Autism-linked mutation may blur brain’s boundary between self, others

by  /  15 July 2021

A mutation in the autism-linked gene SHANK3 changes how neurons encode information about social agency in mice.

0 Comments
June 2021
Brain and marijuana leaves

Q&A with Eric Hollander: Cannabis treatments for autism

by  /  8 June 2021

As cannabis prohibition slowly lifts in the United States, scientists and families in the autism community are increasingly turning to the drug and its constituent compounds to ease autism-related difficulties, including seizures and irritability.

0 Comments
May 2021
Researcher in red plaid shirt and blue nitrile gloves holds a lab mouse fitted with a fiber optic cannula, a needle-shaped glass piece that goes into the mouse's brain surrounded by a metal sleeve to which researchers attach a fiber optic patch cord.

How artificial intelligence is shaking up animal behavior studies in autism

by  /  24 May 2021

Next-generation machine-learning tools are poised to upend how scientists study behavior in animal models of autism — and not everyone is happy about it.

0 Comments
Humorous photograph shows a young man with plastic sunglasses on that match the patterns around him, surveys a tabletop scene of patterned objects.

Finding strengths in autism

by  /  12 May 2021

Autism comprises a set of difficulties, but growing evidence suggests that certain abilities also define the condition.

0 Comments