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The Brain

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

October 2020
Illustration shows a student struggling with a classroom task.
News

How the striatum is linked to autism

by  /  9 October 2020

The repetitive behaviors seen in autism may originate in the striatum, a cluster of neurons involved with initiating and executing movements.

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Brain hemispheres color-coded.
News

Autism shares brain structure changes with other psychiatric conditions

by  /  1 October 2020

Atypical development of a particular type of neuron explains the structural similarities seen in the brains of people with autism, schizophrenia and other conditions, according to a new study.

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September 2020
Illustration shows two long rows of vials with genetic information inside, the shadows they cast are in the shape of humans.
Features / Deep Dive

How scientists secure the data driving autism research

by  /  30 September 2020

Protecting the privacy of autistic people and their families faces new challenges in the era of big data.

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Photograph taken by drone shows Anthony ZAdor and his son running alongside the water.
Opinion / Q&A

Beyond the bench: A conversation with Tony Zador

by  /  29 September 2020

Neuroscientist Tony Zador discusses the enigma of the human brain, the ‘aha’ moments of running and why a ski resort is a good place for a scientific conference.

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Mother in the background unsuccessfully trying to get attention of daughter in the foreground.
News

Neural responses to names may underlie language difficulties in some autistic people

by  /  21 September 2020

Minimally verbal autistic people do not differentiate the sound of their own name from that of a stranger, according to a new EEG study.

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Brain images showing differences in signaling in autistic and normal brains.
News

Brain signal imbalance tracks with sex and with camouflaging autism traits

by  /  17 September 2020

Autistic men show a greater imbalance between excitatory and inhibitory signaling in the brain than autistic women do, which could explain sex differences in ‘camouflaging.’

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Micrograph of a mitochondria.
News

Fragile X syndrome traits may stem from leaky mitochondria

by  /  11 September 2020

Plugging a leaky mitochondrial membrane may help fragile X neurons to mature and function more efficiently.

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Neurons in a macaque cortex express parvalbumin in red.
News / Toolbox

Virus-based method manipulates inhibitory neurons in brains

by  /  9 September 2020

A new viral tool can selectively control different types of neurons that dampen brain activity in rodents, monkeys and people.

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August 2020
Two faces interacting socially while data is being recorded, illustration.
News

Facial expressions between autistic and typical people may be mismatched

by  /  28 August 2020

Conversations between an autistic and a typical person involve less smiling and more mismatched facial expressions than do interactions between two typical people.

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Series of micrographs showing neurons with Rett syndrome mutations lacking liquid compartments around DNA.
News

DNA droplets may be key to Rett syndrome, researchers say

by  /  27 August 2020

Mutations in the MECP2 gene, which are associated with autism and Rett syndrome, interfere with a cell’s ability to form droplets of DNA that silence gene expression.

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