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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Illustration and animation by
Katie Carey

Featured Articles

Mouse in a lab or maze hops around sniffing here and there

Why studying autism in mice may be doomed to fail

by  /  21 March 2018

After more than a decade of effort, scientists are questioning whether mouse models of autism can ever capture the social deficits seen in people with the condition.

scientist looks through binoculars showing a boy on one side, and a mouse on the other.

Why we need a mouse version of a diagnostic test for autism

by ,  /  21 March 2018

Researchers have developed behavioral measures that can accurately diagnose autism in people; these lessons can and should be applied to mice.

How variability among mouse strains can aid autism research

by  /  21 March 2018

Researchers can convert the distinct genetic backgrounds of lab mice from a problem to an advantage, exploiting the differences to advance our understanding of autism.

a row of colorful mice standing close together

Statistical errors may taint as many as half of mouse studies

by  /  15 March 2018

Neuroscientists are sounding the alarm about ‘pseudoreplication,’ a widespread practice that studs the literature with false results.

Two mice in a waiting room.

What to watch for when analyzing mouse behavior

by  /  21 March 2018

Many tests for unusual behavior in mice are prone to operator error. Here’s how to avoid common traps.

illustration of mouse on sale in a city

‘Outmoded’ mouse models of autism may still yield new advances

by  /  21 March 2018

Many researchers question the value of three early mouse models of autism, but the models have their staunch supporters.

Diagram showing data motion of mice.

‘Syntax’ of mouse behavior may speak volumes about autism

by  /  21 March 2018

An algorithm that decodes and quantifies mouse body language could reveal the brain circuits underlying certain autism features.

How to improve mouse models’ usefulness for understanding autism

by  /  20 March 2018

Integrating human-specific genetic elements into mice may provide a permissive, ‘humanized’ environment for studying autism.

‘Outdated’ mouse model exposes key disruptions in autism brain

by  /  21 March 2018

A mouse model based on exposure to an epilepsy drug offers a useful window into the brain circuits altered in autism.

three mice with one in the spotlight

‘Retired’ mice find new life as top models for autism

by  /  25 January 2018

As the list of autism candidate genes grows, some mouse models of the genes turn up in long-forgotten studies.

Inside Scoop From the Autism Anchors: The role of mouse models in autism

by  /  21 March 2018

Our autism anchors, Raphael Bernier and James Mancini, explain how mouse models can help scientists understand the causes of autism and evaluate potential treatments for the condition.

Spectrum stories podcast logo.

Spectrum Stories: Talking about autism mouse models

by  /  21 March 2018

Scientists discuss the problems with using mice to study autism, and explain how the field might move forward.

From The Archives

scientist with protective googles in the lab
Four white mice bike ahead of a white rat, who is juggling on a unicycle; suggesting that rats can do more for research than mice.
Mice in a house in a lab environment
Mouse lab test: the three chambered assay