The Brain

Charting the structure and function of the brain’s many circuits may unravel autism’s mysteries.

News / Toolbox
Synapses in brain organoids

Database, lab tricks may crack secrets of the synapse

by  /  19 July 2019
Two new resources may aid the study of synapses, the junctions between neurons.
News / Toolbox

Interactive atlas reveals zebrafish brain circuits in 3D

by  /  12 July 2019
A new online tool maps the shape and location of neurons in the larval zebrafish brain.

Family groups, researchers join forces to solve mysteries of autism gene

by  /  10 July 2019
Families of children with mutations in a gene called SYNGAP1 have spurred research into the effects of the mutations on people — and how to treat them.
July 2019
Opinion / Viewpoint

How the social hormone vasopressin might help autistic people

by  /  9 July 2019

A drug that mimics the hormone vasopressin improves social skills in autistic people — but so does one that blocks vasopressin’s effects. How can seemingly opposing manipulations produce similar results?

Opinion / Cross Talk

Can we ‘see’ autism in the brain?

2 July 2019

We asked five autism researchers to weigh in on whether there is a unique brain signature for autism and, if so, how to identify it.

June 2019
Two organoids connected by nerve fibers
News / Toolbox

In new device, brain organoids ‘talk’ to each other

by  /  14 June 2019

A novel cell culture device enables researchers to grow bundles of nerve fibers from stem cells, mimicking the tissue that connects distant parts of the brain.

Mouse neurons in a grid show differences

Autism mutation may disrupt brain structure by disabling mitochondria

by  /  13 June 2019

Mice that lack a segment of chromosome 22 — a mutation associated with autism — have unusually sparse connections between brain regions.

May 2019
News / Toolbox

‘Zombie’ pig brains fire hours after death

by  /  31 May 2019

A new method restores blood flow and some functions in pig brains four hours after the animals have died.


Gut microbes from autistic children may alter behavior in mice

by  /  30 May 2019

Mice colonized with gut microbes from some autistic boys show behaviors like those of the boys.

Hands touching, showing nerves highlighted in different parts of the hand
Features / Deep Dive

How ‘social touch’ shapes autism traits

by  /  29 May 2019

Autistic people have unusual responses to ‘affective touch,’ which conveys social and emotional information. Their responses may reveal how autism begins.

Mouse hippocampus view
News / Toolbox

New method yields maps of gene expression in multiple dimensions

by  /  24 May 2019

An array of minute beads enables researchers to build precise maps of gene expression in the brain.

Neurons firing and lighting up

Single-cell analysis suggests brain signaling problems in autism

by ,  /  22 May 2019

Recent advances in technology allow researchers to measure RNA that is contained within the nucleus of a single brain cell.

grid of lab grown neurons
News / Toolbox

New method creates uniform cultures of lab-grown neurons

by  /  16 May 2019

A new technique leads to neuron cultures of consistent quality, enabling scientists to study how autism mutations alter neurons.