Jenny Saffran, PhD – Slide of the Week

 Eye-gaze methods offer numerous advantages for studying cognitive processes in children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), but data loss may threaten the validity and generalizability of results. Some eye-gaze systems may be more vulnerable to data loss than others, but to our knowledge, this issue has not been empirically investigated. In the current study, we asked whether automatic eye-tracking and manual gaze coding produce different rates of data loss or different results in a group of 51 toddlers with ASD.

Ari Rosenberg, PhD – Slide of the Week

Reconstructing three-dimensional (3D) scenes from two-dimensional (2D) retinal images is an ill-posed problem. Despite this, 3D perception of the world based on 2D retinal images is seemingly accurate and precise. The integration of distinct visual cues is essential for robust 3D perception in humans, but it is unclear whether this is true for non-human primates (NHPs).

Luigi Puglielli, MD, PhD – Slide of the Week

Nε-lysine acetylation of nascent glycoproteins within the endoplasmic reticulum (ER) lumen regulates the efficiency of the secretory pathway. The ER acetylation machinery consists of the membrane transporter, acetyl-CoA transporter 1 (AT-1/SLC33A1), and two acetyltransferases, ATase1/NAT8B and ATase2/NAT8. Dysfunctional ER acetylation is associated with severe neurological diseases with duplication of AT-1/SLC33A1 being associated with autism spectrum disorder, intellectual disability, and dysmorphism.

Ben Parrell, PhD – Slide of the Week

When auditory feedback is perturbed in a consistent way, speakers learn to adjust their speech to compensate, a process known as sensorimotor adaptation. Typically, feedback perturbation experiments employ a transformation that targets a single vowel, or that affects all vowels in the same way, resulting in a uniform change across the vowel space.

Marsha R. Mailick, PhD – Slide of the Week

The FMR1 gene on the X chromosome has varying numbers of CGG repeats. The modal number is 30, and expansion to > 200 results in fragile X syndrome, but the copy number extends down to 6. Past research suggests that individuals whose CGGs are in the “low zone” (LZ; defined here as ≤ 25 CGGs) may be more environmentally-reactive than those with normal-range repeats (26-40 CGGs) – a gene x environment interaction

The Social Brain: A Beautiful Mind

What images come to mind when you hear the phrase social brain? Do you think of children running around on a playground laughing together? Do you think of problem solving or imagine colorful brain scans? Do you think of autism? These are the questions that inspired a breadth of autism research that was recently evaluated by a team of Waisman scientists and compiled into a new literature review.