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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: social deficits

November 2020
Owen leaving his home for a bike ride, followed by his therapists and teachers.

Owen’s odyssey: A year and a half after an autism diagnosis

by  /  25 November 2020

This is part 2 of Owen’s story. It tracks his early progress in treatment for autism. Part 1 described his difficult path to a diagnosis.

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October 2020
Toddler vocalizing with parent.

Social motivation predicts language skills in autistic children

by  /  8 October 2020

The more children with autism tune in to and communicate with others as toddlers, the stronger their conversation skills are later in childhood.

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September 2020
The knight Perceval leaves his mother in extreme distress, oblivious to his effect, as he rides into the distance.

The perils of suggesting famous historical figures had autism

by ,  /  22 September 2020

Looking for signs of autism in characters from history and literature can offer insight into society’s changing perceptions through time — but it can also increase the risk of stigma against people with the condition.

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Illustration shows a family is watching fireworks, child sees blurry version of the event.

Eyeing the connection between autism and vision

by  /  16 September 2020

Autism is unusually common among blind people, and children with autism are more likely to have vision problems than their typical peers. Understanding why could lead to better therapies for autism for autism.

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August 2020
Two mice side-by-side.

Drug improves social behaviors, oxytocin signaling in autism mouse model

by  /  31 August 2020

Mice missing the autism gene NLGN3 have altered social behaviors and brain responses to the hormone oxytocin, both of which improve after treatment with a drug that helps regulate protein production.

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Two faces interacting socially while data is being recorded, illustration.

Facial expressions between autistic and typical people may be mismatched

by  /  28 August 2020

Conversations between an autistic and a typical person involve less smiling and more mismatched facial expressions than do interactions between two typical people.

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Illustration showing the human brain made out of flower shapes with the brainstem labeled.

Brain’s center of automatic body functions has autism links

by  /  20 August 2020

The brainstem controls such disparate functions as breathing, sensation and sleep — all of which can be altered in autism.

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Micrograph of neurons in mouse brain.

Inside scientists’ quest to map, modulate social circuits in autism

by  /  17 August 2020

A growing number of studies are revealing circuits that may underlie social challenges in autism — and how to fine-tune them.

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New measures of social skills tap what monkeys see, do

by  /  14 August 2020

A pair of tools that gauge social abilities in rhesus macaques may help researchers study autism-like behaviors in monkeys.

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Illustration showing two hands plugging cables into different areas of the brain, eg. prefrontal cortex, motor cortex, etc.

Motor difficulties in autism, explained

by  /  13 August 2020

Most people with autism have motor difficulties, ranging from an atypical gait to problems with handwriting, but researchers still have much to learn about their causes and consequences.

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