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  • New molecules help researchers orchestrate brain activity
    12 March 2014
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    Using newly discovered molecules from algae, researchers can control the activity of two families of neurons in a single mouse or fly, they reported 9 February in Nature Methods.

  • Come-hither rat cry could measure social interest
    5 March 2014
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    When navigating a maze, rats move toward happy rodent sounds and away from those signaling alarm, according to a review published 4 February in the Journal of Neuroscience Methods. The method could be used to assay social behavior in rodent models of autism.

  • Gene expression implicates inhibitory neurons in autism
    26 February 2014
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    By matching the genes expressed in particular cell types with those linked to a disorder, researchers may be able to identify the cell types implicated in the disorder, they report in a study published 22 January in the Journal of Neuroscience. They use this method to link interneurons and immune cells to autism.

  • Virtual joystick shows preference for personal space
    19 February 2014
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    Children with autism are likely to keep more distance between themselves and a welcoming avatar than controls do in a virtual reality setup, suggesting that they derive less pleasure from social situations, according to a study published 17 January in the Journal of Autism and Developmental Disorders.

  • Induced neuron cell line resembles immature, healthy neurons
    12 February 2014
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    A commercially available line of neurons generated from induced stem cells would serve as a good control for autism research, according to a study published 16 January in Psychopharmacology.