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AUSTRALIAN GIFTED CONFERENCE. The 13th National Conference on Giftedness is scheduled for July 12-15, 2012, in Adelaide, South Australia. According to conference organizers, "This conference will bring together experts in the field of giftedness and talent and combine these with the latest research from around the world." Find out more.
MEDSCAPE ON AUTISM. In a series called "Game Changers in Pediatrics 2011," Medscape pointed to key findings from research  in the area of ASDs. Some of the findings show how much more there is to learn about ASD, some point out things that don't work in treating ASD. Find the Medscape article
PANDAS. The Los Angeles Times published an article about pediatric autoimmune neuropsychiatric disorder associated with streptococcus (PANDAS), a sudden-onset mental disorder marked by OCD-type behaviors. The article also mentions the possibility that other disorders, including cases of autism, might be linked to improper immune system response. Find out more.
GIFTED AND DIFFICULT. A small school in Torrance, California, takes talented students who have difficulties in the normal classroom. For many of the 21 students at the school, The Center for Learning Unlimited, the issue is Asperger's. One "graduate" of the school is at the top of his class in middle school. Read more.
BIOCHEMICAL IMBALANCE IN AD/HD. A recent study has unveiled a new suspect in the biochemistry of AD/HD, this one the receptor protein for the transmitter acetylcholine. Children with AD/HD have about half the protein that typical subjects do. According to a study author, "This indicates that several signal substances are implicated in ADHD and that in the future this could pave the way for other drugs than those in use today." Read more.
AND FINALLY THIS. Researchers in Finland monitored subjects' brains by MRI as the subjects listened to tango music. The results indicate that music affects many areas of the brain. From a write-up of the research: "The researchers found that music listening recruits not only the auditory areas of the brain, but also employs large-scale neural networks. For instance, they discovered that the processing of musical pulse recruits motor areas in the brain, supporting the idea that music and movement are closely intertwined. Limbic areas of the brain, known to be associated with emotions, were found to be involved in rhythm and tonality processing. Processing of timbre was associated with activations in the so-called default mode network, which is assumed to be associated with mind-wandering and creativity." So much for just "listening" to music. Find the write-up.