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Spectrum: Autism Research News

TOPIC

The Brain

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

April 2009

Fragile X protein may control sleep span, study suggests

by  /  16 April 2009

The genetic culprit in fragile X syndrome — a form of mental retardation frequently accompanied by autism — can alter how much fruit flies sleep, according to a study published in the Journal of Neuroscience.

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March 2009

Raphael Bernier: Decoding the mysteries of the autistic brain

by  /  16 March 2009

In the spring of 2002, as a new graduate student at the University of Washington, Raphael Bernier was charged with introducing his advisor, Geraldine Dawson, before her lecture to a room of about 40 people from the psychology department. To Dawson’s astonishment, Bernier sang his introduction to the tune of On Top of Old Smokey. “[It was] a pretty gutsy thing for a first-year student to do,” Dawson says.

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February 2009

Daniel Geschwind: After many detours, on the trail of autism’s genetics

by  /  17 February 2009

In the late 1990s, after Daniel Geschwind had established himself as an expert on the genetics of neurological diseases, a personal connection abruptly pulled him into autism research. Since then, he has participated in dozens of studies probing the genetic basis of autism and related neuro-developmental disorders.

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Autism often accompanied by ‘super vision’, studies find

by  /  12 February 2009

‘Eagle-eyed’ vision, characteristic of many people on the autism spectrum, stems at least in part from abnormal variations in the early stages of visual processing, according to two reports published in the January issue of Biological Psychiatry.

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January 2009

Rebecca Saxe: Fine tuning the theory of mind

by  /  26 January 2009

Rebecca Saxe has been designing brain imaging experiments to study infant brain development, moral judgment and theory of mind in people with autism, who often have trouble grasping othersʼ thoughts.

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The 2003 paper linking neuroligins to autism

by ,  /  12 January 2009

In 2003, Stephane Jamain and his colleagues reached a breakthrough by taking a candidate approach to the X chromosome, and linking members of the neuroligin protein family to autism.

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November 2008

Size of infant’s amygdala predicts language ability

by  /  21 November 2008

A child’s language ability correlates with the volume of his or her amygdala ― the small, deep brain region that is strongly associated with emotion processing ― according to an unpublished five-year longitudinal study presented Wednesday afternoon at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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Beyond mirror neurons

by  /  20 November 2008

High-functioning children with autism may understand another personʼs intention when, for example, that person reaches for a glass of water ― a simple, goal-directed task ― without help from the mirror neuron system, according to research reported Tuesday at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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Finding the right (synaptic) partners

by  /  19 November 2008

Researchers are narrowing in on a pool of genes that may be involved in helping neurons find their targets, according to unpublished work presented today in a poster session at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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A drug that lasts for days

by  /  19 November 2008

A new slow-release form of the drug risperidone ― an antipsychotic given to people with schizophrenia, autism and other psychiatric conditions ― lasts in the blood days instead of hours, according to research presented today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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