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Classic Paper Reviews

  • The 2003 paper proposing signaling imbalance in autism
    26 February 2013
    Comments ( 15 )

    In 2003, John Rubenstein and Michael Merzenich first described the theory, now popular in autism, that the disorder reflects an imbalance between excitation and inhibition in the brain. Takao K. Hensch and Parizad M. Bilimoria review the paper and its impact on the field.

  • The 2003 paper linking neuroligins to autism
    12 January 2009
    Comments ( 0 )

    In 2003, Stephane Jamain and his colleagues reached a breakthrough by taking a candidate approach to the X chromosome, and linking members of the neuroligin protein family to autism.

  • Papers that defined diagnostic tools for autism research
    14 August 2008
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    It took 50 years for scientists to develop instruments reliable enough to be considered the gold standards for diagnosing autism. Autism has always been around, but it was not until the mid-1940s that Leo Kanner in the United States and Hans Asperger in Austria, both physicians, independently described children with what we now recognize as autism.
  • 1985 paper on the theory of mind
    9 May 2008
    Comments ( 6 )

    In 1985, Simon Baron-Cohen, Alan Leslie and Uta Frith reported for the first time that children with autism systematically fail the false belief task.

  • 1977 paper on the first autism twin study
    19 March 2008
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    Autism is caused by poor parenting, particularly by 'frigid' mothers who reject their children. Such a statement would seem bizarre today. But 30 years ago parents, especially mothers, were blamed for their childrenʼs autism. But then in 1977, one study, published in the Journal of Child Psychology and Psychiatry, single-handedly turned the field around to recognize the importance of genetics.