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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
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.

Empty conference hall in blue light.

Society for Neuroscience cancels in-person meeting

The decision comes after a Spectrum survey found that most autism researchers did not plan to attend in person.

Young child at a medical check-up.

Missed check-ups, delayed autism diagnoses among low-income children

by  /  6 October 2021

Autistic children from low-income families are diagnosed about eight months later than their wealthier peers, a new analysis of insurance claims in Virginia shows.

Photo of empty conference room with empty stage and podium in distance.

Few autism researchers plan to attend conferences in person this year: Survey

by ,  /  4 October 2021

As academic conferences resume the option to attend in person, alongside virtual sessions, many autism researchers say they face a difficult choice.