Yearly Archives: 2023

Source [David Orenstein, Picower News | November 2, 2023] Picower Institute-based collaboration will study mechanisms that might enable peripheral immune cells to deliver a potentially therapeutic molecule to the brain. A new three-year research project, funded by the Simons Center for the Social Brain at MIT, posits that the immune system can […]

New grant to study possibility of an immunotherapy for autism

It’s not easy to parse young children’s words, but adults’ beliefs about what children want to communicate helps make it possible, a new study finds. Source: [Anne Trafton, MIT News | October 26, 2023] When babies first begin to talk, their vocabulary is very limited. Often one of the first […]

How adults understand what kids are saying

Source: [Spectrum News, Samantha Easter, Amy S.F. Lutz | October 24, 2023] Much attention has been paid recently to conflict within the autism community, between autistic adults and parents of profoundly autistic children — from a piece in Nature in May to a Spectrum article on the topic in January to a 2021 post on the “Today Show” blog about […]

Building bridges: Collaboration across the autism community

[Spectrum News, Maris Fessenden / September 26, 2023] A new lightweight device with a wisplike tether can record neural activity while mice jump, run and explore their environment. The open-source recording system, which its creators call ONIX, overcomes several of the limitations of previous systems and enables the rodents to move more […]

Lightweight system captures brain activity while mice jump

[MIT News | Maura R. O’Connor, Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences | September 22, 2023] Over a decade ago, the neuroscientist Ev Fedorenko asked 48 English speakers to complete tasks like reading sentences, recalling information, solving math problems, and listening to music. As they did this, she scanned their […]

Re-imagining our theories of language

In a simple game that humans typically ace, mice learn the winning strategy, too, but refuse to commit to it, new research shows. [MIT News, David Orenstein | The Picower Institute for Learning and Memory | September 15, 2023] Neuroscience discoveries ranging from the nature of memory to treatments for disease have […]

Study decodes surprising approach mice take in learning

[Spectrum News, Peter Hess | March 23, 2023] Roughly 1 in 36 8-year-olds in the United States has autism, according to 2020 prevalence data released today by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). This figure represents a nearly 20 percent increase over the agency’s 2018 estimate of 1 in 44 and continues a decades-long […]

U.S. autism prevalence continues to rise as race and sex ...

[Picower News, David Orenstein | March 11, 2023] On March 10 the FDA approved Trofinetide, a drug based on the protein IGF-1, as the first drug available to treat Rett syndrome. The original research showing that IGF-1 could treat Rett syndrome was published by MIT in 2009. Rett syndrome is a […]

3 questions for Mriganka Sur: The basic research origin of ...

[Picower News, David Orenstein | March 10, 2023] When astrocyte function is disrupted, neurons in the brain’s motor cortex struggle to execute and refine motion, a new study in mice shows. From steering a car to swinging a tennis racket, we learn to execute all kinds of skilled movements during […]

Astrocyte cells critical for learning skilled movements

[Spectrum News, Shaena Montanari | March 2, 2023]   Margaret Brimble was a new professor in 1999 at the University of Auckland in New Zealand. The country was not exactly known as a hotbed of drug development, but Brimble was an optimist, a dedicated chemist and maybe even a bit […]

Debut drug for Rett syndrome at edge of approval

The Simons Center for the Social Brain (SCSB) at MIT, which celebrated its 10th anniversary last year, is pleased to announce its renewal with a $25M commitment from SFARI (the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative) for the next five years. SCSB will continue to focus on understanding the neural mechanisms […]

Simons Center for the Social Brain at MIT Renewed with ...

[UMass Amherst News | January 13, 2023] Assistant Professor Siyuan Rao of the UMass Amherst Biomedical Engineering Department has received a grant from the Air Force Office of Scientific Research, or AFOSR, to study “Non-invasive Cell-type-specific Magnetic Neural Modulation,” a next-generation technique for investigating neurological and psychiatric disorders, including depression, addiction, […]

Siyuan Rao, past Simons Fellow, Receives Prestigious AFOSR Young Investigator ...