Joint attention

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: Modified MRI; father findings

This month’s newsletter tackles null findings from an attempted replication of a “revolutionary” MRI approach and an analysis of family genetics.

By Emily Harris
22 June 2023 | 4 min read
Portrait of Connie Kasari.
Synaptic Microphone

Social communication and developmental disorders with Connie Kasari

In this episode of “Synaptic,” Kasari talks about the need for inclusion in educating autistic children, what drew her into the autism research field, and growing up on the family farm.

By Brady Huggett
1 June 2023 | 55 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: 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

Advancing early interventions for autism

Some therapies use play and other activities to reinforce skills that autistic children often find challenging. Trials show these methods can change a child’s trajectory for the better, but the evidence base remains thin.

By Emma Bryce
9 February 2021 | 4 min watch
Toddler vocalizing next to parent.

Autistic toddlers do not tune in to sounds with others

Unlike typical toddlers, those with autism tend not to share experiences involving sound — dancing to music with their parents, for example, or calling attention to the source of a sound.

By Peter Hess
2 October 2020 | 5 min read
Illustration shows an ear balancing on a brain, surrounded by barriers blocking sound waves

Confusion at the crossroads of autism and hearing loss

Hearing difficulties and autism often overlap, exacerbating autism traits and complicating diagnoses.

By Jyoti Madhusoodanan
12 August 2020 | 15 min read
Man working from home office.

INSAR 2020, from home

Like so many other events this year, autism’s biggest annual conference — the International Society for Autism Research meeting — was forced to go virtual because of the coronavirus pandemic.

By Spectrum
31 July 2020 | 15 min read
Illustration shows a lone figure is dwarfed by a field of letters

How one communication tool may fail some autistic people

Parents say the so-called 'rapid prompting method' unlocks hidden talents in their minimally verbal autistic children, but researchers question whether the words produced are the child's own.

By Brendan Borrell
1 July 2020 | 21 min read

Looking directly in the eyes engages region of the social brain

The social brain has a sweet spot that activates when people look each other in the eyes but not when they look at eyes in a video.

By Sarah DeWeerdt
20 October 2019 | 3 min read
calendar showing busy ABA schedule with child's frustrated scribbles on top
Spectrum Microphone

How much behavioral therapy does an autistic child need?

People tend to believe that, regardless of the treatment, more is always better. But is it?

By Connie Kasari
27 August 2019 | 6 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