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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Diagnosis

Diagnosing autism is an evolving science but a crucial first step to understanding the disorder.

January 2009

The 2003 paper linking neuroligins to autism

by ,  /  12 January 2009

In 2003, Stephane Jamain and his colleagues reached a breakthrough by taking a candidate approach to the X chromosome, and linking members of the neuroligin protein family to autism.

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November 2008

Size of infant’s amygdala predicts language ability

by  /  21 November 2008

A child’s language ability correlates with the volume of his or her amygdala ― the small, deep brain region that is strongly associated with emotion processing ― according to an unpublished five-year longitudinal study presented Wednesday afternoon at the Society for Neuroscience meeting.

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Neurogenesis gone wrong

by  /  16 November 2008

Schizophrenia may be a consequence of neuronal birth gone awry, according to unpublished research presented today at the Society for Neuroscience conference.

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John Constantino: Educating communities about autism’s complexities

by  /  3 November 2008

In the fall of 1980, when he left his hometown of St. Louis, Missouri, for undergraduate studies at Cornell University in upstate New York, John Constantino was determined to pursue one of two careers: a doctor or a school teacher.

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August 2008

Papers that defined diagnostic tools for autism research

by ,  /  14 August 2008

It took 50 years for scientists to develop instruments reliable enough to be considered the gold standards for diagnosing autism. Autism has always been around, but it was not until the mid-1940s that Leo Kanner in the United States and Hans Asperger in Austria, both physicians, independently described children with what we now recognize as autism.

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June 2008

Cathy Lord: Setting standards for autism diagnosis

by  /  30 June 2008

In the late 1960s, as an undergraduate student in psychology at the University of California, Los Angeles, Cathy Lord spent a couple of hours a day teaching two young boys with autism.

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May 2008

Christopher Walsh: Solving mysteries of the mind in the Middle East

by  /  13 May 2008

At first glance, the waiting room at the Ministry of Health Hospital in Muscat, Oman, may look different than that of your average American hospital. Men dressed all in white and women in black burqas wait in separate rooms, even if they are members of the same family. But talking to these families soon reveals just how similar they are to their American counterparts, says Christopher Walsh, a neurologist who has studied neurodevelopmental disorders in the Middle East for nearly 10 years.

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1985 paper on the theory of mind

by  /  9 May 2008

In 1985, Simon Baron-Cohen, Alan Leslie and Uta Frith reported for the first time that children with autism systematically fail the false belief task.

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Ami Klin & Warren Jones: Melding art and science for autism

by  /  6 May 2008

Sitting on a sofa in his office at the Yale Child Study Center, Ami Klin plays a movie clip on a tiny laptop. The clip stars a younger Klin, with larger glasses but the same easy smile, vying for the attention of a young girl with autism. His face inches from hers, he speaks in a warm, animated voice. But the girl never looks from the toy blocks in her hands. Suddenly, she spots an orange M&M in the far corner of the room and scoots after it.

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March 2008

Unraveling mitochondria’s mysterious link to autism

by  /  24 March 2008

In the past two weeks, autism researchers and advocacy groups have been agog with news that autism could be linked to an extremely rare group of metabolic diseases.

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