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Name this network: Addressing huge inconsistencies across studies

Entrenched practices have stymied efforts to build a universal taxonomy of functional brain networks. But a new tool to standardize brain-imaging findings could bring us a step closer.

By Lucina Q. Uddin
3 January 2024 | 5 min read
Brain scans displaying activity in areas linked with social behavior.
Spectrum Microphone

People’s perceptions of ‘social’ animations don’t always square with researchers’ labels

The finding calls into question differences between autistic and non-autistic people on a decades-old theory-of-mind test involving interacting geometric shapes.

By Charles Q. Choi
22 February 2023 | 6 min read
a grid of 9 brain maps showing activity in different areas of the brain
Spectrum Microphone

Brain networks diverge in autism by toddlerhood

By as early as age 2, autistic children appear to have a smaller salience network and a larger default mode network, among other differences, than children without the condition.

By Laura Dattaro
8 June 2022 | 4 min read
Baby getting an MRI scan

Imaging study casts doubt on cerebellum’s role in autism during infancy

Connections between the cerebellum and brain networks do not seem to contribute substantially to the emergence of autism traits.

By Sarah DeWeerdt
13 January 2021 | 3 min read
Brain images showing differences in signaling in autistic and normal brains.

Brain signal imbalance tracks with sex and with camouflaging autism traits

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.’

By Peter Hess
17 September 2020 | 5 min read
Collage illustration showing Lucina Uddin portrait with eye movements and brain images

Rethinking ‘noise’ in autism research

Lucina Uddin says researchers should be cautious when analyzing their findings, because 'noisy' data may actually hold important information about brain functioning.

By Jonathan Moens
11 August 2020 | 7 min read
three teens chatting

Brain responses to social stimuli may vary by sex in autism

Autistic girls’ brains respond more strongly to social stimuli than do autistic boys’.

By Laura Dattaro
29 June 2020 | 5 min read
Two sides of a 3D human brain showing different areas highlighted in various colors

Brains of autistic people show unusual left-right symmetry

The hemispheres in autistic people’s brains are more symmetrical than those of their typical peers, but it is unclear what this difference means.

By Peter Hess
4 December 2019 | 4 min read
overlapping network of connections in the brain
Spectrum Microphone

The connectivity theory of autism, explained

A growing body of evidence suggests that autism involves atypical communication between brain regions, but how and where in the brain this plays out is unclear.

By Rachel Zamzow
1 May 2019 | 4 min read

Large set of brain scans reveals no telltale signs of autism

The brains of autistic children show few differences from those of children with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, or even of controls.

By Nicholette Zeliadt
21 March 2019 | 4 min read

Explore more from The Transmitter

Brain organoid size matches intensity of social problems in autistic people

Overgrown organoids could point to mechanisms underlying profound autism.

By Holly Barker
18 July 2024 | 5 min read

Persistent protein pairing enables memories to last

The complex of two memory proteins, rather than the individual molecules acting independently, underlie month-long memories in mice, a new study suggests.

By Elissa Welle
17 July 2024 | 5 min read
A digitally distorted image of a file folder against a blue gradient background.

Data access changes to UK Biobank stir unease in neuroscientists

“I feel a little bit in limbo,” says neuroscientist Stephanie Noble, who has paused a study using Biobank data after the repository shifted from a data download to a cloud-only access model.

By Calli McMurray
16 July 2024 | 7 min read