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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: learning

October 2010

Genetics: New statistical analysis links mutations to disease

by  /  20 October 2010

A new study, published in September in PLOS Genetics, shows the importance of comparing cases to controls when linking mutations to a disorder. The researchers propose a new method of analysis that takes into account the large size of many genes expressed in the brain.

August 2010

Brain’s adaptability begins at single synapse

by  /  10 August 2010

Researchers have uncovered an important molecular piece of a learning mechanism that occurs at the junction between neurons. The findings, which may help understand how the brain is disrupted in disorders such as autism, appear in the 24 June issue of Neuron.

July 2010

Social interactions not rewarding for children with autism

by  /  23 July 2010

Children with autism have abnormally low brain activity in the ‘reward center’ of the brain when given money or shown a happy face, according to a study in Autism Research. These are the first imaging data to support the notion that children with autism derive less pleasure from social interactions compared with their healthy peers.

May 2010

Williams syndrome precludes racial bias, study finds

by  /  20 May 2010

Children with Williams syndrome — a rare genetic disorder that leads to mental retardation and overt friendliness — hold stereotypes based on gender, but not race, according to a report published in Current Biology. Because those with Williams syndrome don’t have social fear, the study suggests racial stereotypes are based partly on fear.

April 2010

Scientists finger neurexin 1 defects in autism

by  /  20 April 2010

Several studies in the past year in people, mice and honeybees have tied autism to a protein that helps neurons communicate. Problems with the protein, neurexin 1, are associated with a wide range of autistic behaviors, such as impaired social interactions, anxiety and problems with learning and memory.

November 2008

Lithium’s effect on fragile X mice

by  /  18 November 2008

Lithium treatment reverses some of the behavioral and brain-cell abnormalities in mouse models of fragile X syndrome ― an inherited form of mental retardation that includes learning deficits, aggressiveness, and social withdrawal ― according to research presented today at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.


A mouse model for autism

by  /  15 November 2008

A mouse model of neurofibromatosis ― a genetic neurodevelopmental disorder that leads to nerve tumors, memory problems and, often, autism ― exhibits deficits in social interaction and social learning, according to research presented in a poster session today at the Society for Neuroscience conference.