Attention

Autism research hits the road

Some scientists are thinking creatively about how to collect data in flexible environments and meet communities where they’re at.

By Giorgia Guglielmi
8 December 2023 | 0 min watch
A young girl sits on the couch biting her thumb.

Children with autism and ADHD often have additional mental health conditions

The dual diagnosis frequently co-occurs with anxiety, depression and developmental and language delays.

By Maaisha Osman
10 February 2023 | 2 min read
Illustration of hybrid objects: part light bulb, part lab vial, some in blue and some in red to signify null and replicated results

Null and Noteworthy: Autism and aging, anorexia overlaps, pregnancy effects

In this edition of Null and Noteworthy, researchers replicate encouraging findings on autism and aging and shoot down a host of potential links between pregnancy complications and having a child with autism.

By Laura Dattaro
10 February 2022 | 5 min read

Myelin loss may explain how autism-linked DNA deletion affects cognition

Deleting a copy of the gene TBX1 depletes the fatty myelin insulation that surrounds neurons and reduces cognitive speed in mice.

By Anna Goshua
8 December 2021 | 3 min read
Illustration shows a cartoon-like simple figure made out of a switchboard, with colorful cables converging on an area deep in the brain.

Brain’s sensory switchboard has complex connections to autism

An atypical thalamus may underlie not only sensory issues in autism but also difficulties with social skills, attention and memory.

By Sarah DeWeerdt
15 November 2021 | 9 min read
Annimation of eye tracking application following the pupil in a man's eye.

Web app tracks pupil size in people, mice

The app relies on artificial intelligence and could help researchers standardize studies of pupil differences in autistic people and in mouse models of autism.

By Rahul Rao
8 October 2021 | 3 min read
Two women making eye contact while talking with each other.

Social attention shows sex difference in autism

Autistic boys and men are less attuned to social stimuli than autistic girls and women are, according to new unpublished work.

By Angie Voyles Askham
14 May 2021 | 3 min read
Boy in front of colorful constellation or universe, studying the realms of outer space.

The benefits of special interests in autism

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

By Emily Laber-Warren
12 May 2021 | 18 min read
Baby in mother's lap watching her mouth move as she talks.

Infant siblings of autistic children miss language-learning clues

So-called ‘baby sibs’ watch adults’ faces just as much as children without autistic siblings do, but they don’t understand spoken language as well.

By Jaclyn Jeffrey-Wilensky
6 May 2021 | 3 min read

Virtual-reality system tracks eye gaze in real-world settings

A new eye-tracking program for VR headsets captures nuanced aspects of social attention in autistic people.

By Peter Hess
5 May 2021 | 3 min read

Explore more from The Transmitter

Illustration of a canyon landscape with an orange clock face in place of a sun.

How to teach this paper: ‘Behavioral time scale synaptic plasticity underlies CA1 place fields,’ by Bittner and Milstein et al. (2017)

Katie Bittner, Aaron Milstein and their colleagues found that cellular learning can happen over longer timescales than Hebb’s rule predicts. How long should we wait to teach students about this phenomenon?

By Ashley Juavinett
24 June 2024 | 11 min read
Portrait of Kaspar Podgorski standing in his lab wearing a helmet with a climbing rope over his shoulder.

Climbing to new heights: Q&A with Kaspar Podgorski

The optical physiologist tracks neural computations inside the lab and scales sheer rock faces outside—even after a life-changing fall.

By Elissa Welle
21 June 2024 | 8 min read
Research illustration groups genes by their effects on brain cell types.

Giant analysis reveals how autism-linked genes affect brain cell types

Genes that predispose people to autism account for a large portion of the neuronal and glial cell changes seen in those with the condition.

By Charles Q. Choi
20 June 2024 | 5 min read