Autism is a highly prevalent developmental condition, affecting millions of people worldwide. Ban Ki-moon, the UN Secretary-General, highlighted the necessity to focus our attention on autism in his message marking the 5th annual World Autism Awareness Day on April 2 2012, stating that autism is a ‘worldwide challenge that requires global action’. The International Meeting for Autism Research, currently taking place in Toronto, Canada, further reinforces this need for action by aiming to ‘stimulate research progress in understanding the nature, causes, and treatments’ for autism spectrum disorders.
In keeping with this topical field of research, ‘Reward processing in autism’, a new thematic series published by Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, is a collection of research articles and reviews that consider autism from the novel perspective of deficits in reward processing. This series, guest edited by Dr Gabriel S. Dichter and Professor Ralph Adolphs, aims to encourage other researchers to consider this research framework as a means of understanding the variability in treatment response to autism. It is hoped that this series will help to guide new approaches to diagnosis and intervention in autism.
A number of the premier autism researchers have contributed to the articles in this series, considering topics ranging from neural responses to primary rewards to social preferences in terms of charitable donations and social ‘wanting’ dysfunction in autism. The first four articles in the series are now available to read here, with a further six to follow. To find out when the remaining articles in the series are published, and to keep up-to-date with all of the latest research published in the journal, register for article alerts.
Journal of Neurodevelopmental Disorders, overseen by Editor-in-Chief Joseph Piven, is a fully open-access journal which publishes cutting-edge research across a number of disciplines ranging from neurobiology and genetics to cognitive neuroscience and psychology. For more information about the journal, please visit the journal ‘about’ page.