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Spectrum: Autism Research News

Tag: social difficulties

April 2022
Micrographs comparing mouse striatal neurons missing TSHZ3 and wildtype striatal neurons.

Two groups of neurons govern autism-like traits in model mice

by  /  15 April 2022

Together, the neurons are part of the corticostriatal circuit, which has been implicated in autism.

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March 2022
A family of Macaques aat the Yerkes National Primate Research Center Field Station, Lawrenceville, Georgia.

Macaques’ social skills tied to variation in autism-linked genes

by  /  7 March 2022

Genetics strongly influences some aspects of the monkey’s social behavior, including tendencies to solicit grooming and sit or play alone.

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December 2021

Artificial intelligence system categorizes interactions between mice

by  /  17 December 2021

New software can automatically identify and quantify mouse social behavior from videos, saving researchers time.

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November 2021

Dispatches from SfN 2021: Mitochondria, Rett therapy and oxytocin

These short reports from Spectrum journalists highlight some of the autism-related findings that caught our attention at the meeting this past week.

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Photo: A scientist wearing a green shirt and white gloves holds two black laboratory mice. The viewer is looking over the scientist's shoulder at their cupped hands holding the mice.

Sex bias emerges in new mouse model with autism-linked mutation

by  /  3 November 2021

Compared with a previous mouse strain, a new model better reflects some of the difficulties that people with a rare autism-related syndrome experience, and may help identify biomarkers of the syndrome.

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October 2021
Two colorful mouse neurons seen side by side on black, one has a mutation.

Precocious neurons may stunt brain growth in rare form of autism

by  /  5 October 2021

The first animal model of MYT1L syndrome suggests that fast-maturing neurons lead to the unusually small brains, social deficits and other traits seen in people with the condition.

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September 2021
Researcher hands on three brain images taken at different ages, of different conditions.

The search for a link between autism and neurodegenerative conditions

by  /  28 September 2021

Autistic people have a higher-than-average chance of developing a neurodegenerative condition, according to a few studies. Some scientists are searching for proof — work that could also improve care for older autistic adults.

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August 2021

Drugs boost serotonin, socialization in multiple autism mouse models

by  /  6 August 2021

The finding that MDMA and an experimental serotonin agonist increase sociability across six different model mice suggests that disparate autism-linked mutations converge on the same underlying pathways.

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July 2021
Illustration shows a woman whose mouth is covered by a cloud and whos eyes are covered by a cloud.

Double empathy, explained

by  /  22 July 2021

The double empathy theory challenges the idea that social difficulties are specific to autism and suggests that problems arise from a mismatch in perspective between autistic and non-autistic people.

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Illustration shows mouse with colorful wires attached, interacting with another mouse.

How to avoid common pitfalls when parsing circuit control of social behavior

by  /  20 July 2021

When probing the circuits underlying social behavior in animal models of autism, researchers should consider potentially confounding variables, use multiple behavioral assays and report results in a descriptive and unbiased manner.

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