Skip to main content

TOPIC

The Brain

Charting the structure and function of the brain’s many circuits may unravel autism’s mysteries.

News
Illustration: microbes clumped together forming the shape of a brain. The microbes are pink, blue, aqua, and red. Set against a dark blue background.

Despite flurry of findings, doubts dog gut microbes’ role in autism

by  /  19 October 2021
The possibility of microbial treatments for autism has inspired a burst of research and nascent clinical trials, but new research suggests these efforts rest on shaky scientific ground.
News
Two mice in cage with one peeping out.

Brain stimulation improves memory in autism mouse models

by  /  15 October 2021
Jolting a bundle of nerve fibers deep in the brain restores learning and memory in mice with mutations of the autism-linked gene CDKL5.
News / Toolbox

‘Light beads’ method images activity across the mouse brain

by  /  12 October 2021
The new technique can record hundreds of thousands of neurons firing nearly simultaneously across big swaths of brain tissue in living mice.
October 2021
News

How traits relate to brain activity may differ between autistic boys, girls

by  /  11 October 2021

Scientists should heed these differences when considering resting-state brain activity as a biomarker for autism, the researchers say.

0 Comments
Two colorful mouse neurons seen side by side on black, one has a mutation.
News

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
Cells in the cerebral cortex.
News / Toolbox

Atlas maps gene activity, accessibility in developing brain

by  /  30 September 2021

A new resource profiles gene expression and the accessibility of DNA in single cells across the developing human cerebral cortex and may help scientists decipher the effects of noncoding mutations linked to autism.

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

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
A concerned man holds his toddler close
News

Severe infection may raise odds of autism in some children

by  /  17 September 2021

Mock viral infections impair social memory in mice with a mutation tied to autism, and autistic boys are more likely than their non-autistic peers to have had serious infections early in life.

0 Comments
Four brains showing areas affected by the X chomosome in yellow
News

X chromosome exerts extra influence on brain development

by  /  15 September 2021

The X chromosome holds stronger-than-expected genetic sway over the structure of several brain regions. The genes that may underlie this oversized influence have ties to autism.

0 Comments
Scientist Ethan Scott takes aim with a bow and arrow in his backyard.
Opinion / Q&A

Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Ethan Scott

by  /  13 September 2021

Ethan Scott packs his lab with math, physics and computer science experts to decode sensory brain networks in zebrafish models of autism.

0 Comments
Colorful image of a composite of multiple brain scans showing communication patterns in different regions.
News

Autism mouse models cluster by brain activity pattern

by  /  10 September 2021

Four subtypes lend new support to the idea that there isn’t a single ‘hallmark’ type of brain connectivity in people with autism.

0 Comments
researcher holds zebrafinch
Features

Fish, frogs, flies and other fauna in scientific firsts

by  /  8 September 2021

Over the past century, scientists have used a variety of animal models to advance their understanding of the developing brain and autism.

0 Comments
A lighthearted, colorful, chaotic lab scene with fruit flies, worms peeking out of petri dishes, zebrafish in beakers and an octopus creeping out of a cabinet..
Features / Special Reports

Special report: Unusual animal models of autism

8 September 2021

In the past two decades, some autism researchers have turned to simple animals, such as roundworms, fruit flies and zebrafish, for their investigations. Others have sought answers from experiments with frogs, birds and even octopuses.

0 Comments