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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.

October 2021
Week of OctoberOct

Spotted around the web: SHANK3 tug of war, motor issues, tenure threat

by ,  /  22 October 2021

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 18 October.

Colorful illustration in red and bright aqua blue, of a pizza / pie chart with researcher's hand taking a slice.

By the Numbers: Preschool antipsychotics, COVID-19 vaccinations, delayed autism diagnoses

by  /  20 October 2021

In this edition of By the Numbers, we discuss antipsychotic use among autistic preschoolers, coronavirus vaccination rates among autistic Israelis and autism diagnosis timelines.


Backlash from autistic community pauses research, exposes communication gaps

by ,  /  18 October 2021

Fallout over two recent studies highlights the potential power of social media to shape science, and the shifting dynamics between researchers and the autistic community.

Speech bubble formed by a network of communication

Community Newsletter: Conversation analysis, relationship between autism and intellectual disability

by  /  17 October 2021

In this week’s Community Newsletter, we look at a new proof for a method to understand how social interactions are organized and a philosophical thread on polygenic risk scores for autism and intellectual disability.

Week of OctoberOct

Spotted around the web: Sleep disruption, new brain maps, autism and hydrocephalus

by  /  15 October 2021

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 11 October.

Mayada Elsabbagh portrait in her messy kitchen, drinking coffee.

Beyond the bench: A conversation with Mayada Elsabbagh

by  /  13 October 2021

Mayada Elsabbagh talks about her “neurotic scheduling” (and its limits), why she is not active on social media, and her lab’s cookie time.


How traits relate to brain activity may differ between autistic boys, girls

by  /  11 October 2021

Scientists should heed these differences when considering resting-state brain activity as a biomarker for autism, the researchers say.


Society for Neuroscience reverses refund policy for in-person conference registrants

by  /  11 October 2021

Those who no longer wish to attend the virtual meeting of the Society for Neuroscience (SfN) can request registration fee refunds, SfN announced after a social media outcry.

mouths forming a conversation

Community Newsletter: Twitter on autistic burnout, resting-state research, long-haul publishing

by  /  10 October 2021

In this week’s Community Newsletter, we look at a study that tapped Twitter for insight on autistic burnout, a commentary on giving resting-state research a rest and some reassurance for early-career researchers on how long it takes to publish new work.

Annimation of eye tracking application following the pupil in a man's eye.

Web app tracks pupil size in people, mice

by  /  8 October 2021

The app relies on artificial intelligence and could help researchers standardize studies of pupil differences in autistic people and in mouse models of autism.