Cerebellum

A slice of a cerebellum.

Mutation in top autism-linked gene may alter eye reflex

The discovery could help clinicians diagnose children who carry mutations in the gene, called SCN2A, and gauge their responses to potential therapies.

By Charles Q. Choi
26 February 2024 | 5 min read
An image of a fossil
Evolution Microphone

Expanding ‘little brain’ may have powered dinosaur flight

The cerebellum swelled in size before flight evolved among modern birds’ dinosaur ancestors, according to a new comparison of fossilized skulls and living birds.

By Annie Melchor
23 February 2024 | 4 min listen
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: Busting biomarkers; going after GABA; reproducibility illusion

In this edition of Null and Noteworthy, scientists find little to be excited about in research on biomarkers for neurodevelopmental conditions.

By Laura Dattaro
16 February 2023 | 4 min read
Three-dimensional structure of cells in the cerebellum.

Flexible genomic architecture undergoes major redesigns during cerebellum development

A new atlas reveals how the structural shake-ups within a cell’s genome differ by cell type and brain region over time.

By Angie Voyles Askham
13 November 2022 | 4 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: Brain aging, oxytocin pathways, biomarker back-up

Null and replicated results in this month’s newsletter tackle aging, a purported pathway for oxytocin’s effects on autistic people, and a possible autism biomarker.

By Emily Harris
15 September 2022 | 5 min read
Spectrum Microphone

Mouse study links dopamine in cerebellum to social behavior

The signaling molecule’s social role in the ‘little brain’ involves Purkinje neurons in the Crus I and Crus II regions, a new study reveals.

By Sarah DeWeerdt
6 July 2022 | 5 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: INSAR keynote, typical cerebellums, social subdomains

In this edition, researchers sink a purported link between cerebellar volume and autism and buoy a theory about measuring social behaviors.

By Laura Dattaro
9 June 2022 | 4 min read
White lab mice bunched up in corner of cage.

Mouse models mirror cerebellum patterns seen in autism

Animals with different autism-linked mutations share disruptions to the mTOR signaling pathway, pointing to a potential molecular mechanism for the atypical cerebellar development seen in some autistic people.

By Angie Voyles Askham
12 May 2022 | 3 min read

Mice missing key clock gene show autism-like traits

A new study is the first to link social, repetitive and motor behaviors to mutations in BMAL1, which regulates the body’s circadian rhythms.

By Laura Dattaro
28 April 2022 | 5 min read

Autism model mice develop typical social and motor behaviors after drug treatment

The drug suppresses an overactive signaling pathway implicated in tuberous sclerosis complex.

By Laura Dattaro
9 March 2022 | 5 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