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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.

February 2014

Autism studies may ignore key ethnicity information

by  /  25 February 2014

More than 70 percent of autism studies don’t record the ethnicity of their participants, and fewer than half of those that do analyze the impact of the data, reports a review published 4 February in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.


Genetics: Proteins that support neurons linked to autism

by  /  25 February 2014

Mutations in two proteins that help guide neurons as they grow in the developing brain may be risk factors for autism, according to a study published 14 January in Human Molecular Genetics.


Attention deficit in mothers raises children’s autism risk

by  /  24 February 2014

Children of women who have attention deficit hyperactivity disorder are at increased risk for autism and attention deficit, according to a study published 21 January in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry. This suggests the two diseases have common risk factors.


Clinical research: Epilepsy and autism share familial risk

by  /  21 February 2014

In families with a history of autism, the affected children are seven times more likely to also have epilepsy than their unaffected siblings, according to a study published 1 December in Molecular Autism. The results suggest that epilepsy and autism share some risk factors.


Virtual joystick shows preference for personal space

by  /  19 February 2014

Children with autism are likely to keep more distance between themselves and a welcoming avatar than controls do in a virtual reality setup, suggesting that they derive less pleasure from social situations, according to a study published 17 January in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.


First 1,000 days of life could hold keys to autism

by  /  17 February 2014

Autism researchers have high hopes for a new project called the First 1,000 Days of Life, which aims to follow 5,000 women and their babies from pregnancy through two years after birth.


Spatial, verbal skills in autism even out with age

by  /  14 February 2014

A rigorous new study confirms that boys with autism tend to score higher on tests of spatial and analytical abilities than on those for verbal skills. But the gap decreases by the time they reach 10 years of age.


How to evaluate the ‘intense world’ paradigm?

by  /  11 February 2014

What evidence supports the idea that autism stems from overactive brain responses to sensory input? Researchers weigh in on this controversial theory.


Kevin Pelphrey discusses neuroimaging and autism

 /  19 February 2014

Watch the complete replay of Kevin Pelphrey discussing how imaging can chart social cognition in the brains of children with autism.


Automated tool records behavior of autism mouse models

by  /  5 February 2014

A new tracking system automatically logs and scores mouse behavior as well as a human observer does, according to a paper published 31 December 2013 in Journal of Neuroscience Methods.