Can your brain be trained to make better brain waves? That’s the bizarre premise of ‘neurofeedback,’ a technique in which participants don a cap of electrodes and are rewarded — with soothing music, say, or points in a video game — for ‘desirable’ brain activity.
Spectrum: Autism Research News
Science & Society
From funding decisions to scientific fraud, a wide range of societal factors shape autism research.
Individuals with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder (ADHD) have a higher rate of DNA duplications and deletions, including some in regions linked to autism and schizophrenia, according to a study published 23 October in The Lancet.
Two new studies provide clues that may explain sex differences in autism prevalence. Italian researchers have found that injecting estrogen into the brains of young male mice reverses some of the structural and behavioral changes associated with low levels of reelin — a brain protein that has been previously implicated in autism — and the effects endure into adulthood.
For a few hundred dollars and a bit of your spit, you can have parts of your DNA analyzed. If you’re more ambitious, $20,000 — and a lot less than that a year from now — will buy you the sequence of your entire genome. But the real question is should you, and others like you, find out what secrets your genome holds?
If you believe the hype about oxytocin, it’s nothing short of a wonder drug: it can make you trust a stranger, enhance a mother’s bond with her child and, according to a study published earlier this year, improve social skills in individuals with autism. But look more closely, and there is ample cause for caution.
An imaging study widely interpreted as heralding a diagnostic brain scan for autism is more preliminary than popular media reports would indicate, according to experts familiar with the work.