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In Brief

  • Cognition and behavior: Brain scans probe joint attention
    12 June 2012
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    Using functional magnetic resonance imaging, researchers have for the first time identified brain regions activated by joint attention, the process in which two people direct their attention to the same object, person or topic of conversation. The findings appeared 16 April in Human Brain Mapping.

  • Genetics: 2q21.1 variations link autism, attention deficit
    8 June 2012
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    Researchers have found deletions and duplications of a small piece of chromosome 2 in individuals with autism, developmental delay, epilepsy or attention deficit hyperactivity disorder.

  • Clinical research: Long-term studies track autism’s trajectory
    6 June 2012
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    Two studies published over the past month followed individuals with autism at various ages and showed that they gain developmental skills differently than controls do.

  • Molecular mechanisms: Microglia abnormal in autism brains
    5 June 2012
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    Two new postmortem studies show that microglia, which protect the brain from invaders, are denser and more concentrated around neurons in the brains of individuals with autism than in those of controls.

  • Cognition and behavior: Rare syndrome distinct from autism
    1 June 2012
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    Individuals with Cornelia de Lange syndrome, a rare genetic disorder often accompanied by autism, have subtle differences in the nature of their social deficits compared with those who have autism alone, according to a report published 10 April in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry.