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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: social reward

September 2021
Illustration shows two octopi interacting on a yellow background.

Getting eight arms around autism

by  /  8 September 2021

Octopuses can solve some of the same problems as people but do so in unusual ways.

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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.

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May 2021
Boy in front of colorful constellation or universe, studying the realms of outer space.

The benefits of special interests in autism

by  /  12 May 2021

Researchers are studying how the intense passions of autistic people shape the brain, improve well-being and enhance learning.

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April 2021
Brain scan showing communication from amygdala to hypothalamus about social reward.

Brain circuit makes social interactions rewarding, may be altered in autism

by  /  30 April 2021

Blocking connections between the amygdala and hypothalamus prevents mice from finding social interactions as rewarding as they would otherwise.

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January 2021
dopamine neurons in mice show up green in an area of the brain associated with social reward.

Dopamine neurons may dampen social behavior in mouse model of autism

by  /  12 January 2021

Mice missing a copy of the autism-linked gene PTEN show a reduced preference for social interaction, possibly due to atypically large, overconnected dopamine neurons. Easing the overconnection may alleviate this trait.

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December 2020
Oxytocin neurons stained pink and green.

Autism-linked gene exerts varied effects on oxytocin circuits in mice

by  /  18 December 2020

Two types of neurons process social information, a new mouse study suggests, but only one is disrupted in mice missing the autism-linked gene FMR1.

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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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July 2020
Illustration shows scientist is observing social behavior in a large group of children

In search of ‘social’ subtypes of autism

by ,  /  21 July 2020

Grouping autistic people based on their social abilities may reveal subtypes of the condition.

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June 2020
three teens chatting

Brain responses to social stimuli may vary by sex in autism

by  /  29 June 2020

Autistic girls’ brains respond more strongly to social stimuli than do autistic boys’.

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April 2020
Two young women who met in the Action Play theater group and became friends. Lines between the women show their connection.

How people with autism forge friendships

by  /  1 April 2020

Most autistic people want to and can make friends, though their relationships often have a distinctive air.

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