Features

In-depth analysis of important topics in neuroscience

an illustration of scientists parachuting

The perils of parachute research

Scientists who study autism in lower-income countries are working to end practices that exploit or ignore collaborators and communities on the ground.

By Linda Nordling
6 June 2024 | 11 min read
Illustration of a series of squares containing distinct patterns.

Can an emerging field called ‘neural systems understanding’ explain the brain?

This mashup of neuroscience, artificial intelligence and even linguistics and philosophy of mind aims to crack the deep question of what "understanding" is, however un-brain-like its models may be.

By George Musser
5 June 2024 | 21 min listen
Close-up of a green glass slide embedded with dozens of tiny electrodes.
Neurobiology Microphone

Making cancer nervous

Nerve cells in the brain and throughout the body can turbocharge tumor growth — a finding that not only expands conventional ideas about the nervous system but points to novel therapeutic targets for a range of malignancies.

By Sarah DeWeerdt
13 November 2023 | 24 min listen
Photograph of a gloved hand pointing to a computer screen that is displaying an image of a mouse brain.
Interneurons Microphone

Uncertainty and excitement surround one company’s cell therapy for epilepsy

After 10 years of work, Neurona may have the data to quiet its skeptics. But its ongoing clinical trial will be the ultimate test.

By Angie Voyles Askham
5 October 2023 | 19 min listen
Research video of a zebrafish larva (zoomed in on the gut) being given glucose.

On the periphery: Thinking ‘outside the brain’ offers new ideas about autism

Neuronal alterations outside the brain may help to explain a host of the condition’s characteristic traits, including sensory changes, gut problems and motor differences.

By Sarah DeWeerdt
13 April 2023 | 20 min read
Coraline with her family at home in Pennsylvania.

The promise of telehealth in autism diagnoses

The COVID-19 pandemic forced a reckoning, in which autism clinicians had to redefine best practices and expand how children are evaluated. The remote assessments they developed may help solve a persistent problem: the long wait families endure to get a diagnosis in the United States.

By Lydia Denworth
15 February 2023 | 22 min read
Three groups of people meet and mix at a crossroads.
Spectrum Microphone

Autism research at the crossroads

The power struggle between researchers, autistic self-advocates and parents is threatening progress across the field.

By Brady Huggett
25 January 2023 | 30 min listen
Large graphic numerals 40 in black on white.

40 under 40

In 2022, we asked our profile subjects and sources to flag rising stars in their labs or among their former students. The result is this list of 40 young researchers who are working on autism-related science across the globe.

By Spectrum
22 December 2022 | 5 min read
A transplanted human organoid labeled with a fluorescent protein in a section of the rat brain.
Spectrum Microphone

Hot topics in autism research in 2022

This year saw the debut of ever-more complex techniques to grow and analyze brain organoids and other 3D tissue cultures, among other advances.

By Spectrum
22 December 2022 | 7 min listen
Two globe and chat bubble hybrids overlap against a blue background.

Autism researchers’ top tweets in 2022

Social media chatter this past year took up a mysterious gene region, the brain’s physical geometry and other topics related to the advancement of autism science.

By Michael Fergenson
22 December 2022 | 6 min read

Explore more from The Transmitter

Women are systematically under-cited in neuroscience. New tools can change that.

An omitted citation in a high-profile paper led us to examine our own practices and to help others adopt tools that promote citation diversity.

By Anne Churchland, Felicia Davatolhagh
22 July 2024 | 5 min read
A marble bust of a face that is covered in real leaves.

Newly found circuit through visual cortex powers first look at faces

The superior colliculus, an evolutionarily ancient brain area responsible for eye movements, responds to faces before the canonical face areas do, a study of macaque monkeys suggests.

By Olivia Gieger
19 July 2024 | 5 min read

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