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Signs & Symptoms

Autism’s core symptoms accompany a constellation of subtle signs that scientists are just beginning to unmask.

News
Illustration shows a woman whose mouth is covered by a cloud and whos eyes are covered by a cloud.

Double empathy, explained

by  /  22 July 2021
The double empathy theory challenges the idea that social difficulties are specific to autism and suggests that problems arise from a mismatch in perspective between autistic and non-autistic people.
News
Four brown lab mice in a cage, top-down view, with one mouse away from the group.

Autism-linked mutation may blur brain’s boundary between self, others

by  /  15 July 2021
A mutation in the autism-linked gene SHANK3 changes how neurons encode information about social agency in mice.
Features / Deep Dive
Illustration shows yellow landscape with blue sections and a lot of trains on paths with kids on the trains, going different directions.

Mapping the futures of autistic children

by  /  14 July 2021
Researchers can roughly project what autistic children's lives will look like years down the road. But how good is their crystal ball — and what are its benefits?
June 2021
Two people having an intense conversation, one unable to make direct eye contact.
News

Alexithymia, not autism, may drive eye-gaze patterns

by  /  14 June 2021

How autistic people look at a face may be linked more to alexithymia, a condition marked by difficulties recognizing one’s own emotions, than to autism.

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A sheet of paper cut into shreds, and then re-aligned into its original shape.
News

Copyright claim prompts retraction of study on alexithymia in autism

by  /  9 June 2021

After a study revised a popular measure for alexithymia, it was pulled for copyright infringement because the authors did not pay a $40 fee or obtain permission to use the measure.

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Illustration of transporter mice in brain maze
News

After 60 years, scientists are still trying to crack a mysterious serotonin-autism link

by  /  4 June 2021

The high levels of serotonin seen in the blood of some autistic people have confounded scientists for more than half a century. Despite so little progress, some researchers refuse to give up.

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May 2021
3D mouse rendering
News / Toolbox

Virtual mouse helps scientists track behavior

by  /  27 May 2021

An animated mouse reenacts common behavioral experiments and can be used to train algorithms that automatically track lab animals’ movements.

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Opinion / Viewpoint

The first Dutch boy with ‘autism’ — and the nun who cared for him

by  /  25 May 2021

The recognition of autism independently at different times and across different cultures shows the condition has clear boundaries, despite considerable heterogeneity.

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News / Toolbox

New benchmark for autism scale may help gauge therapies

by  /  18 May 2021

Researchers have defined a change in score on a popular autism rating scale that signifies a meaningful improvement in core traits. The measure could help scientists assess the effectiveness of autism treatments in clinical trials.

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Two women making eye contact while talking with each other.
News

Social attention shows sex difference in autism

by  /  14 May 2021

Autistic boys and men are less attuned to social stimuli than autistic girls and women are, according to new unpublished work.

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Humorous photograph shows a young man with plastic sunglasses on that match the patterns around him, surveys a tabletop scene of patterned objects.
Features / Deep Dive

Finding strengths in autism

by  /  12 May 2021

Autism comprises a set of difficulties, but growing evidence suggests that certain abilities also define the condition.

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Boy in front of colorful constellation or universe, studying the realms of outer space.
Features / Deep Dive

The benefits of special interests in autism

by  /  12 May 2021

Researchers are studying how the intense passions of autistic people shape the brain, improve well-being and enhance learning.

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News

Fetal brain scans may forecast autism traits in toddlers

by  /  7 May 2021

Children with highly folded and curved brains in utero tend to show autism-linked behaviors at 18 months of age, according to a longitudinal brain-imaging study.

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