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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Opinion /


Expert opinions on trends and controversies in autism research.

Previous articles
January 2014

Intense world theory raises intense worries

by ,  /  21 January 2014

The ‘intense world theory’ of autism, which has attracted much interest from the popular press, has received very little academic scrutiny. Uta Frith and Anna Remington ask: Is it as positive as it purports to be, and what does it mean for autism?


Heeding head motion’s effects

by  /  14 January 2014

Even small differences in head motion between groups can substantially increase group differences in brain imaging scans. This underscores the importance of accounting for head motion in any study in which one population is likely to move more than another, says Kami Koldewyn.

December 2013

Charting typical brain development

by  /  20 December 2013

How can we characterize what is atypical when we don’t fully understand what typical brain development looks like, particularly under the age of 5? Christine Wu Nordahl explains the importance of scanning the brains of typically developing children.


Cognitive dissonance

by  /  13 December 2013

Intelligence quotients and education levels are not as important for people with autism when it comes to life satisfaction and the ability to live independently, says Emily Willingham.


Understanding contradictory connectivity reports in autism

by ,  /  10 December 2013

Studies at the level of neural circuits are needed to better understand the importance of both increased and decreased connectivity between different regions in the autism brain, say John Rubenstein and Vikaas Sohal.

November 2013

More or less connected in autism, compared to what?

by  /  19 November 2013

Emerging findings in children with autism are showing both hyperconnectivity and underconnectivity in different regions and circuits throughout the brain.


Immigrant risk

by  /  12 November 2013

In Ireland, children born to women who have emigrated from certain African countries are more likely to be diagnosed with autism, and to have more severe symptoms of the disorder, than their peers, says Louise Gallagher.


Keeping score

by  /  5 November 2013

An effort to rank autism genes on the strength of the evidence implicating them in the disorder will provide researchers with a focused list of genes to study, says Alan Packer.


SHANK mutations converge at neuronal junctions in autism

by ,  /  5 November 2013

SHANK3, one of the strongest candidate genes for autism, has the potential to be a molecular entry point into understanding the synaptic, developmental and circuit origins of the disorder.

October 2013

Best practices

by ,  /  22 October 2013

Guidelines for the use of electroencephalography in autism will ensure that researchers have a common set of standards, which will speed up discovery, say Sara Jane Webb and Raphael Bernier.


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