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University of Queensland: fish give insight on sound sensitivity in autism

Scientists used zebrafish, a fish that carry the same genetic mutations as humans with autism, discovering the neural pathways and networks that produce the hypersensitivities to sound.  This was reported by the University of Queensland, Brain Institute, Professor Ethan Scott, and Dr. Lena Constantin.

For the people in the spectrum, all loud noises cause anxiety and sensory overload. This information is not filtered and adjusted as normal so the brain is transmitting more auditory info.

We were examining how neurons work at zebrafish and we are able to study their larvae brain and the activity of each cell individually.

They exposed zebrafish larvae to bursts of sound and examined their movements recording this way of brain activity.

It gives us insights into which brain parts are being used and how the sensory information is processed by examining how our neural pathways respond and develop to the simulation of our senses.

We have been getting more details from the time we used the zebrafish. Seeing in this way more activity in the hindbrain.

We hope that we will gain more insights into the sensory difficulties faced by people with autism. by discovering fundamental data on how the brain processes sound.

The research was funded by the Simons Foundation Autism Research Initiative, the Health and Medical Research Council, and the Australian Research Council and was published in BMC Biology. 

 Rebecca Poulsen and Dr. Gilles Vanwalleghem were part of the study team studying zebrafish and how it makes sense of the world, in order to explore how neurons work to process information together.

This tiny fish helped scientists to understand how sound is processed by the human brain and gave insights into autism spectrum disorder. 

We hope that in the future we have more and more studies that help ASD Community in their life.

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