Even partial loss of the gene impairs the mouse brain’s ability to respond to sensory experiences, which may explain why people with SYNGAP1 mutations tend to have learning difficulties and a high pain tolerance.

The post Autism-linked gene SYNGAP1 molds synaptic plasticity, learning appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News.

Jolting a bundle of nerve fibers deep in the brain restores learning and memory in mice with mutations of the autism-linked gene CDKL5.

The post Brain stimulation improves memory in autism mouse models appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News.

The new technique can record hundreds of thousands of neurons firing nearly simultaneously across big swaths of brain tissue in living mice.

The post ‘Light beads’ method images activity across the mouse brain appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News.

Associations between behavior and resting brain activity differ between autistic boys and girls, according to a new study.

The post How traits relate to brain activity may differ between autistic boys, girls appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News.

Ethan Scott packs his lab with math, physics and computer science experts to decode sensory brain networks in zebrafish models of autism.

The post Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Ethan Scott appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News.

Researchers are increasingly turning to simple animals to learn about autism biology and find leads for new drugs.

The post What studying worms, flies and fish says about autism appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News.

Mounting evidence suggests that autism often involves upsets in homeostatic plasticity, a set of processes neurons use to stabilize their activity. These disruptions result from a range of autism-linked mutations and may help to explain the condition’s famed heterogeneity.

The post Disruptions to brain’s ‘thermostat’ may underpin autism traits appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News.

When Yizhar isn’t building new tools to study the neural circuits underlying autism and other complex conditions, you can find him playing the piano, shooting photographs or taking long runs in the desert.

The post Beyond the Bench: A conversation with Ofer Yizhar appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News.

A new technique can reveal where thousands of neurons send their axons — and measure the cells’ RNA levels for dozens of genes at the same time — in the mouse brain. It could be used to profile neural circuits underlying autism.

The post Method tracks neuron paths, gene expression simultaneously appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News.

When probing the circuits underlying social behavior in animal models of autism, researchers should consider potentially confounding variables, use multiple behavioral assays and report results in a descriptive and unbiased manner.

The post How to avoid common pitfalls when parsing circuit control of social behavior appeared first on Spectrum | Autism Research News.