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  • Cognition and behavior: Mirror neurons age normally in autism
    27 March 2012
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    Age-related changes to the mirror neuron system — a pathway thought to be involved in empathy — are no different in individuals with autism compared with controls, according to a meta-analysis published 1 February in Social Cognitive and Affective Neuroscience. The results challenge previous reports that suggest deficits in the mirror neuron system diminish with age in individuals with autism.

  • Researchers seek 'active ingredients' of early intervention
    26 March 2012
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    Early intensive intervention is the only therapy that has been shown to be effective in young children with autism, according to a 2011 review of autism treatments commissioned by the U.S. Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality. But researchers are just beginning to tease out what they refer to as its ‘active ingredients:’ why the treatment works, which elements are essential and why it fails to help some children.

  • Big neuroscience
    23 March 2012
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    Two large-scale neuroscience projects aim to integrate many different types of information about the brain into cohesive models and to share resources with the research community. 

  • Genetics: Autism risk higher in full than in half siblings
    23 March 2012
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    Full siblings are twice as likely as half siblings to share a diagnosis of autism, according to a short report published 28 February in Molecular Psychiatry. The results suggest that genetic factors play an important role in the risk of developing autism, the researchers say.

  • Scientists link new deficits to FOXP2 mutations in mice
    22 March 2012
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    Mice with mutations in a gene tied to language impairment and to autism have trouble learning to associate sounds with motor patterns, says a study published last week in PLoS ONE.