Many mouths making conversation, with speech bubbles in red and blue.
Illustration by Laurène Boglio

Cognitive mapping; PTEN in peripheral nerves

Researchers took to social media to discuss how cognitive maps form during learning. There was also talk about a study of peripheral nerves in mice missing PTEN, an autism-linked gene. That and more in this week’s Community Newsletter.

Nelson Spruston of Janelia Research Campus in Ashburn, Virginia, detailed his team’s preprint, “Learning produces a hippocampal cognitive map in the form of an orthogonalized state machine,” posted on bioRxiv 7 August.

Jiannis Taxidis of the University of Toronto commented on Spruston’s study.

Kevin Wright of Oregon Health and Science University in Portland detailed his team’s preprint, “Intrinsic control of DRG sensory neuron diversification by Pten,” posted on bioRxiv 6 August. Check out Spectrum’s deep dive on the peripheral nervous system, published in April.

Patrick Kerstein of Purdue University replied to Wright.

Elisabeth Sheridan of Drexel University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, linked to her study, “The reach and accuracy of information on autism on TikTok,” published in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders 6 August.

Inge-Marie Eigsti of the University of Connecticut in Mansfield, Jennifer Veilleux of the University of Arkansas in Fayetteville and Alycia Halladay of the Autism Science Foundation replied to Sheridan.

Segun Fatumo of the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine detailed his study, “Whole-genome sequencing across 449 samples spanning 47 ethnolinguistic groups provides insights into genetic diversity in Nigeria,” published in Cell Genomics 8 August.

Maria Bierlein of Basel University in Switzerland linked to her study, “Empathy deficits, callous-unemotional traits and structural underpinnings in autism spectrum disorder and conduct disorder youth,” published in Autism Research 7 August.

Sarah Abu Hijleh of the University of California, Riverside, linked to her study, “Increased body weight in mice with fragile X messenger ribonucleoprotein 1 (Fmr1) gene mutation is associated with hypothalamic dysfunction,” published in Scientific Reports 4 August.

Aimé Lumaka of the University of Liège in Belgium described his study, “Usefulness of automated image analysis for recognition of the fragile X syndrome gestalt in Congolese subjects,” published in the European Journal of Medical Genetics 4 August.

Sarit Aharoni of the Ben-Gurion University of the Negev in Beersheba, Israel, linked to her study, “PSMC1 variant causes a novel neurological syndrome,” published in Clinical Genetics 21 July.

Arthur Caplan of New York University linked to the article “Exclusive: Shake-up at top psychiatric institute following suicide in clinical trial,” published in Spectrum 31 July. A follow-up story, published 10 August in The New York Times, quoted Spectrum’s article.

If you or someone you know is having suicidal thoughts, help is available. Here is a worldwide directory of resources and hotlines that you can call for support.

That’s it for this week’s Community Newsletter! If you have any suggestions for interesting social posts you saw in the autism research sphere, feel free to send an email to [email protected].

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