STUDY: Unfamiliar Surroundings → Autism-Like Behavior?

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31 Mar 2022, 8:46 am

Study indicates unfamiliar surroundings bring out autism-like behaviors.

Being in an unfamiliar environment prompts social avoidance and increases repetitive behaviors in mice with two mutated copies of the autism-linked gene SHANK3, according to a new study.  The results, published in Neuron in February, jibe with other evidence that mutations in SHANK3 prime an animal’s susceptibility to environmental factors.  Some children also seem to prefer familiarity as they explore the world -- They have the tendency to drag with them a doll or a blanket, a piece of their familiar world as they discover the outside world. It’s sort of a comforting thing.

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