Science & Society

From funding decisions to scientific fraud, a wide range of societal factors shape autism research.

Opinion / Viewpoint
Illustration shows paper under review and the research process, on two different sides.

Peer review of methods before study’s onset may benefit science

by  /  4 December 2018
'Registered reports' — a type of paper in which experimental protocols are reviewed before the study begins — may make neuroscience studies more rigorous and reproducible.
Opinion / Viewpoint
illustration shows figure with many different colors and shapes indicating fluidity of identity.

Why we need to respect sexual orientation, gender diversity in autism

by  /  27 November 2018
Autistic people with a minority sexual orientation or gender identity face specific challenges, from having their self-assessments dismissed to difficulties advocating for their gender needs.
Features / Deep Dive
Illustration shows long line of children waiting to see one doctor.

Why are there so few autism specialists?

by  /  21 November 2018
A lack of interest, training and pay may limit the supply of specialists best equipped to diagnose and treat children with autism.
November 2018
Portrait of Dr. Michael Gandal in his lab.
Opinion / Q&A

Beyond the bench: A conversation with Michael Gandal

by  /  20 November 2018

Michael Gandal, who studies the genetics of brain conditions, offers unusual advice on team building: Lock everyone up in a room together.

Ben Barres, a neurobiologist at Stanford University's Medical Center, poses for a portrait in his lab in the university's campus in Stanford, Calif., Tuesday, July 11, 2006.

Ben Barres: A transgender scientist shares his story

by ,  /  14 November 2018

Ben Barres agonized over whether to come out as male or commit suicide. In a posthumous memoir, he makes clear that coming out was the right choice.

Drawing shows robot making a surprised face to mimic human emotion.
Opinion / Viewpoint

Intelligent robots could prove to be a boon for autism therapies

by ,  /  13 November 2018

Robots may one day help therapists analyze behaviors and devise personalized sessions for autistic children.

View of San Diego in twilight.

Takeaways from SfN 2018

by  /  12 November 2018

After the presentation of more than 14,000 abstracts over five days, the Society for Neuroscience annual meeting in San Diego ended last week.

A collage shows a black and white portrait of Russian doGrunya Efimovna Sukhareva on a colored background.
Features / Deep Dive

How history forgot the woman who defined autism

by  /  7 November 2018

Grunya Sukhareva characterized autism nearly two decades before Austrian doctors Leo Kanner and Hans Asperger. So why did the latter get all the credit?

Infant in fnirs cap, wrapped in blankets.

Study tracks social brain development in African infants

by  /  7 November 2018

An inexpensive, noninvasive method can track social brain development in infants in low-resource countries.

Illustration shows Austria lagging behind Germany--doctors and researchers are taking bigger steps in Germany.
Opinion / Viewpoint

How Austria can restore its status as a center of autism research

by  /  6 November 2018

Austria must train more autism specialists, expand its research funding and build more centers for autism diagnosis and treatment.

reflection on office window glass of two men shaking hands.

Autistic people should be valued for their strengths in the workplace

by ,  /  5 November 2018

Just 16 percent of adults with autism are in full-time paid employment, and those who do get a job often face discrimination and isolation at work.

San Diego, California, Cabrillo freeway, plane flying overhead.

Reactions from SfN 2018

by  /  1 November 2018

Spectrum heads to San Diego to cover the annual Society for Neuroscience conference.

October 2018
Opinion / Reviews

Book Review: A mother finds reward in risk

by  /  30 October 2018

In “The Boy Who Loved Too Much,” a woman tries to cocoon her son, who has Williams syndrome, from life’s insults but later realizes her protective instincts carry dangers of their own.