Diagnostic tests

Illustrated portrait of So Hyun “Sophy” Kim.
Synaptic Microphone

Diagnosing autism and teaching neurodiversity with So Hyun “Sophy” Kim

The Korea University professor on her path to autism research and studying in the United States.

By Brady Huggett
1 July 2024 | 67 min listen
Portrait of Matthew Siegel sitting on a staircase.

Pinning down ‘profound autism’ for reliable research: Q&A with Matthew Siegel

A clear and actionable definition for the term could enhance research and improve care, Matthew Siegel says.

By Katie Moisse
13 June 2024 | 7 min read
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 illustration of a magnifying glass, checklists, and anonymous figures.

‘Prototypical autism’ research is likely a dead end

Efforts to define “frank” or “classic” forms of the condition build on several assumptions that the science has not yet borne out.

By Deborah Fein, David Amaral, Einat Waizbard-Bartov
25 January 2024 | 8 min read
A child uses a tablet device

New tablet-based tools to spot autism draw excitement — and questions

Handheld devices promise to bring autism detection home, but many researchers urge caution.

By Charles Q. Choi
4 January 2024 | 8 min read
A person stands in front of a neatly organized dresser drawer.

Teasing apart insistence on sameness with Mirko Uljarević

The hallmark autism trait has multiple facets, Uljarević and his colleagues have found.

By Lauren Schenkman
30 October 2023 | 6 min read
A hand reaches from above to add a pill to a stack that is resting against the x-axis of a graph.

Looking at eye tracking’s potential for clinical trials

This month’s Going on Trial newsletter explores how eye tracking might be used beyond helping with diagnosis, among other drug development news.

By Calli McMurray
28 September 2023 | 6 min read
Research images from an eye-tracking study.
Spectrum Microphone

Tablet-based tool to spot autism validated in two studies

The new tool could help clinicians diagnose autism in children younger than 3, the findings show.

By Charles Q. Choi
5 September 2023 | 5 min read
Illustrated portrait of Amy Wetherby.
Spectrum Microphone

Amy Wetherby: Impatient for progress

A speech-language pathologist by training, Wetherby has spent more than four decades developing tools to help identify and treat autism early; now her work has taken on a more personal sense of urgency.

By Daisy Yuhas
26 July 2023 | 13 min read
Closeup photograph of an infant lying in a bassinet under white sheets with their left hand lifted close to their ear.
Spectrum Microphone

New technique details brainstem’s response to sounds

By revealing differences between autistic and non-autistic children, it could help identify autism in babies.

By Maaisha Osman
4 April 2023 | 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