Live DSM-5 discussion

Listen to our virtual roundtable on the DSM-5 criteria for autism, featuring Thomas Insel, Catherine Lord and Helen Tager-Flusberg.

By Greg Boustead
22 May 2013 | 2 min read
This article is more than five years old.
Neuroscience—and science in general—is constantly evolving, so older articles may contain information or theories that have been reevaluated since their original publication date.

On 29 May, we hosted a live ‘virtual roundtable’ on the criteria for autism in the newly published DSM-5, the 5th edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders.

The panelists included Thomas Insel, director of the National Institute of Mental Health; Catherine Lord, DSM-5 working group member and director of the Center for Autism and the Developing Brain in New York City; and Helen Tager-Flusberg, director of the Research on Autism & Developmental Disorders program at Boston University.

You can listen to the complete discussion above.

Following the DSM-5’s publication last week and a preemptive announcement from the National Institute of Mental Health that it will be directing research away from DSM categories, we heard important clarifications about what the DSM-5 is, and what it is not. We also heard Insel’s vision for how he expects researchers to use the proposed Research Domain Criteria.

Listeners asked many questions, making for a lively and informative discussion about the new guidelines’ impact on autism diagnosis as well as on research. Add your voice by posting reactions and follow-up questions in the comments section below.


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Catherine Lord Director, Center for Autism and the Developing Brain



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Thomas Insel Director, National Institute of Mental Health



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Helen Tager-Flusberg Director, Research on Autism & Developmental Disorders, Boston University



The panel was moderated by science journalist Sarah DeWeerdt, a regular contributor to