Birdsong is a valuable tool for studying language, and mice are the models of choice for genetic manipulation of behavior. Together, birds and mice can yield unparalleled insights into human language, suggests unpublished research presented yesterday at the 2014 Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in Washington, D.C.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Children later diagnosed with autism understand different types of words at 12 months of age than their typically developing peers, according to unpublished research presented Tuesday at the Autism Consortium Research Symposium in Boston.
As the number of autism rodent models climbs, it is a good time for the field to step back and consider the best practices for assessing autism-like symptoms in rodents, says Jacqueline Crawley.
To understand the role of FOXP2, a gene that links autism and language, researchers should look at its partner genes and at language models such as songbirds, say Genevieve Konopka and Todd Roberts.
Among the younger siblings of children with autism who do not have the disorder themselves, more than one-quarter show developmental delays at their first birthday, according to a study published in April.
When navigating a maze, rats move toward happy rodent sounds and away from those signaling alarm, according to a review published 4 February in the Journal of Neuroscience Methods. The method could be used to assay social behavior in rodent models of autism.
FOXP2, a language gene that is linked to autism, may regulate active connections between neurons by controlling the levels of a protein called SRPX2, according to a study published 22 November in Science.
A strain of bacteria that lives in some people’s guts alleviates obsessive behaviors, anxiety and other symptoms in mice that model autism, researchers report today in Cell. The finding supports the intriguing link between the gut, brain and behavior.