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Spectrum: Autism Research News

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Science & Society

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

September 2014

Autism, attention deficit marked by opposing brain changes

by  /  9 September 2014

A brain hub responsible for higher-order tasks may be overly connected in autism and thinly connected in attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.


SFARI social at SfN 2014

by  /  8 September 2014

The presenters for this year’s Autism Research Social at SfN have been selected. If you’ll be at conference, please join us 17 November for an evening of food, conversation and new data.


In Chinese newspapers, stories on autism neglect science

by  /  5 September 2014

News stories about autism in China are becoming more common, but tend to skimp on scientific facts, reports a study of five leading daily newspapers.

August 2014

Method reveals relationship between white, gray matter

by  /  27 August 2014

A new technique helps researchers trace the nerve fibers that connect brain regions by revealing how the fibers physically relate to curves and folds on the brain’s surface. The method was described 8 July in Medical Image Analysis.


In fragile X syndrome, coping skills decline with age

by  /  26 August 2014

As they age, children with fragile X syndrome may become worse at adapting to change, according to a study published 28 July in Pediatrics.


Study on ‘extreme male brain’ theory of autism draws critics

by  /  25 August 2014

The controversial theory that characterizes autism as the result of an ‘extreme male brain’ gets fresh support from a large new survey, but critics are skeptical.


Autism may lower risk of childhood injuries

by  /  22 August 2014

Children with autism often appear to be clumsy, but in fact the disorder may protect them from injury, suggests a study published in the July-August issue of Academic Pediatrics.


Should autism research focus on common or rare risk factors?

by  /  20 August 2014

New estimates on the role of common mutations in autism raise questions about how to quantify and parse genetic risk. Three experts say both common and rare variants are worth pursuing.


‘Thunder’ promises lightning-fast analysis of big brain data

by  /  14 August 2014

Researchers have developed a set of software tools called Thunder that can find meaningful patterns in large-scale data on brain activity.


Can a drug for a parasitic disease really treat autism?

by  /  6 August 2014

Reports of a century-old drug that reverses autism-like symptoms in mice raise key questions about the complexity of translating promising research into real treatments.