The neuroscience behind autism spectrum disorders (ASD), which affect an estimated 1 in 110 American children, will be the focus of a $26.5 million research center at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. The Boston Globe reports that the Simons Center for the Social Brain will conduct research around social behaviors, especially including the behaviors that are associated with ASD. According to the Globe:
The new center will focus on four main areas. One program will identify the genes involved in the disorder, while another will develop models that can help scientists understand the biology and mechanisms that underlie the complicated set of symptoms. Other researchers will try to unravel the connection between behaviors and the brain, and the final program will focus on the translation of research findings into tools, therapies, and technologies that could help patients.