Motor skills

Photograph of Eugenia Chiappe jumping inside a glass hallway.

Decoding flies’ motor control with acrobat-scientist Eugenia Chiappe

The tiny performers steal the show in Chiappe’s sensorimotor-integration lab in Lisbon, Portugal.

By Elissa Welle
7 May 2024 | 6 min read
Multiple exposure of Rujuta Wilson facing the camera, and walking along her gait mat.

A new look at walking in early childhood: Q&A with Rujuta Wilson

Quantifying toddlers’ gaits promises to improve autism diagnosis and intervention.

By Charles Q. Choi
14 March 2024 | 6 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
Three groups of people meet and mix at a crossroads.

Year in Review: Spectrum’s best in 2023

Here are five must-reads from our coverage of autism research over the past 12 months.

28 December 2023 | 4 min read
A colorful silhouette of a hand.

Glow-in-the-dark labels accelerate AI-assisted animal motion tracking

The labeling technique trains machine-learning algorithms with larger datasets and less effort than ever before.

By Celia Ford
13 November 2023 | 5 min read
Research image of neurons.

Abundant motor proteins disrupt cries in FOXP2 mice

Knocking down the gene that codes for the proteins normalizes the vocalizations.

By Laura Dattaro, Maaisha Osman
28 July 2023 | 3 min read

Spotted around the web: Synthetic embryos; Angelman gene therapy

Here is a roundup of news and research for the week of 26 June.

By Jill Adams, Calli McMurray
30 June 2023 | 3 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: Registered reports; motor measurements; viral DNA

In this edition of Null and Noteworthy, Spectrum talks with a Nature editor about the journal’s move to publish more null results.

By Laura Dattaro
16 March 2023 | 4 min read
Photograph of a doctor taking notes on a toddler who is playing with their mother.

Journal Club: Meta-analysis oversells popular autism screen

The Modified Checklist for Autism in Toddlers (M-CHAT) accurately flags autistic toddlers, a new systematic review and meta-analysis suggests, contrary to past evidence that the tool’s validity varies depending on a child’s age and traits. Experts weigh in on the discrepancy.

By Spectrum
14 March 2023 | 5 min read

Beyond the bench: Mastering meaningful movement with Karen Chenausky

The competitive rower-turned-researcher spoke to Spectrum about how trying out for the U.S. national rowing team and a subsequent coaching position shaped her study of speech development.

By Kristin Ozelli
21 October 2022 | 8 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