Brain Structure and Function

Future Focused: Pathway to Personalized Medicine

Looking to the future, scientists at CAR say studies examining brain structure and function as it relates to social cognition, repetitive behaviors, anxiety, and ADHD- as well as those aimed at refining research methodology to incorporate emerging data processing capabilities- hold the most promise for helping us to understand how we might develop treatments that target the core symptoms of autism. ...

What Do We Know About Autism and the Brain?

Over the past decade, foundational brain imaging research looking for the brain regions responsible for ASD has provided a deeper understanding of how the brain works, but has raised as many questions as it has provided answers. We learned that the brain’s role in ASD is not as simple as pinpointing a single aspect of brain development or function. ...

Building a Strong Foundation: CAR’s Roots in Brain Imaging Research

Looking back over the last decade, much of the research on autism spectrum disorder (ASD) has been centered on one goal: to find the cause(s) of this neurodevelopmental diagnosis that affects so many. CAR’s initial brain imaging research led to several key discoveries  revealed the complexities of ASD and the brain and laid the foundations for today's research aimed at discovering new ways to treat the core symptoms of ASD. ...

Seeking Reward in Restricted Interests

Restricted and repetitive behaviors and interests (RRBIs) represent one of the defining characteristics of autism spectrum disorder (ASD). While many brain imaging studies on ASD exist, few have investigated the brain’s activity and processing during RRBIs. ...

Autism’s Chicken – or –Egg Dilemma: Social Difficulties or Restricted Interests

When it comes to two of the core symptoms of autism spectrum disorder (ASD), diminished social interest and restricted and repetitive interests, researchers have long puzzled over which comes first. ...

Using Virtual Reality to Teach Crucial Community Safety Skills

As youth on the autism spectrum transition to adulthood and gain increasing independence, their families often fret over their safety and their ability to respond in critical situations.  ...

Untangling Anxiety and Autism

All children experience fears and worries at some point. However, if the child has autism spectrum disorder, they may be especially fearful of particular sights, sounds or places. ...

Social Anxiety, or Just Disinterested? (And Why it Matters.)

Social interactions are a common cause of anxiety among individuals with autism. However, it can be extremely challenging for parents or clinicians to distinguish between social disinterest and social anxiety in someone diagnosed with ASD. ...

Notes from the Field- Treatment Options for Co-occurring Anxiety and Autism

Since there are very few studies on how to treat anxiety in patients with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), it can be challenging for families to find a clinical specialist. So, what should clinicians do to help children with a dual diagnosis? ...

Simultaneously Weaker and Stronger? New Brain Research Begins to Makes Sense of a Longstanding Paradox

The rapidly developing field of functional connectivity research provides a nuanced understanding of brain connections, or communications, and suggests that people on the autism spectrum may have simultaneously weaker and stronger brain connections. ...