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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: dopamine

April 2021
Brain scan showing communication from amygdala to hypothalamus about social reward.

Brain circuit makes social interactions rewarding, may be altered in autism

by  /  30 April 2021

Blocking connections between the amygdala and hypothalamus prevents mice from finding social interactions as rewarding as they would otherwise.

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January 2021
dopamine neurons in mice show up green in an area of the brain associated with social reward.

Dopamine neurons may dampen social behavior in mouse model of autism

by  /  12 January 2021

Mice missing a copy of the autism-linked gene PTEN show a reduced preference for social interaction, possibly due to atypically large, overconnected dopamine neurons. Easing the overconnection may alleviate this trait.

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August 2018

Two new sensors track chemical signals in brains of living animals

by  /  24 August 2018

Novel sensors enable researchers to monitor the activity of two signaling chemicals in the brains of living fruit flies and mice.

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July 2018

Skepticism surrounds autism drug given ‘fast track’ for approval

by  /  25 July 2018

In May, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration guaranteed an experimental autism drug a speedy review for approval, but some scientists are skeptical of the drug’s potential.

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November 2017
black mice exiting hole

Learning shows sex bias in mice with mutation tied to autism

by  /  23 November 2017

Male mice with a genetic variant tied to autism may have learning difficulties that females with the variant do not.

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May 2017

Brain’s reward region may drive social problems in autism

by  /  17 May 2017

Having too many copies of an autism gene called UBE3A mutes a brain region that may mediate the satisfaction a person derives from social interactions.

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March 2017
illustration of person with autism struggling with addiction

Autism’s hidden habit

by  /  1 March 2017

Conventional wisdom holds that people with autism don’t get hooked on alcohol or other drugs, but new evidence suggests otherwise.

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November 2016

Light activates reward circuits in monkey brains

by  /  4 November 2016

A new method uses flashes of light to stimulate specific sets of neurons in monkey brains.

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April 2016

Flexible tool watches brain talk as mice walk

by  /  27 April 2016

A new brain imaging system lets researchers eavesdrop on mouse neurons as the animals move around and interact with each other.

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Questions for Kay Tye: How loneliness drives social behavior

by  /  19 April 2016

A brain circuit that wires lone mice to seek out social contact may offer clues about autism.

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