The situations in an effective manner. Once this is

The vision of translational research in autism spectrum disorder:In the field of biomedicine, the fundamental aim of translational research is develop knowledge and methods to improve diagnosis, treatment procedures and even prevention of diseases through the application of  in vitro methods in cell culture, using of animal and mouse models. The research, over many years undergoes a complicated process of distinct phases, where it is developed, trialed and tested and if successful, is delivered by the clinician to the patient. Once the drug or treatment has been developed, clinical efficacy of the research is determined when it reaches the clinician and is implemented in patient care, which is done through promotion of access, reorganisation and coordination of systems of care and more importantly, building and maintaining a patient-clinician relationship (Fong Ha et al, 2010). Brosnan and Michael (2014) have proposed a ‘Promise of porosity’, discussing the expectation of the translation of what has been identified in the laboratory into clinically relevant situations in an effective manner. Once this is efficiently conducted, maximal impact on the health of the public can be achieved (Drolet and Lorenzi:2011;4).However, the practicality and reality of how a high clinical efficacy can be obtained is currently under critical assessment. This is due to a lack of clear understanding in transferring the knowledge gained in animal models and in vitro methods to the in vivo systems (Insel 2007), negatively affecting the reliability of the results and causing difficulty in carrying the research forward to clinical practice. This is of concern when studying human mental disorders’ (Hyman and Insel,2007), as only one specific pathway is targeted in models, when mental syndromes affect an array of pathways within the inner human mind. This leads onto scepticism of the promise neuroscience brings based on the technologies used and how it is represented to the public (Klein, 2011; Marks, 2010; Rachul and Zarzencency, 2012). Due to this, commentators and researchers have been called to promote ‘A critical neuroscience’: to check and reflect on the promise of neuroscience and include the input of a more multi-disciplinary approach of halthcare and humanities (Choudhury and Slaby, 2011; Choudhury and Stadler, 2011; Choudhury et al, 2009). This relates to the diverse and non-specific etiology (Lord et al, 2012) of neuropsychiatric disorders, namely autism spectrum disorder.Brenner (2008,9) has further argued that more focus should be applied in incorporating science directly into the clinic, following on from the introduction of ‘reverse translation'(Insel, 2007). This supports the idea of first identifying the molecular pathways responsible for the disorder in humans through imaging and diagnostic methods before modeling those pathways in animal models, generating a shift in understanding the mechanisms of the disorder.There is an evident need for translational research to be incorporated, even though the time scale is still large. It is critical to interpret how discoveries in neuroscientific research  are taken into clinical practice when consulting patients with Austism spectrum disorder, which of great concern today, as its prevalence increases. Therefore, this article discusses the progress of developing translational methods to improve understanding of autistic individuals and whether or not the ‘promise of porosity’ can be achieved in clinical autism treatment through neurotechnology, mainly neuroimaging. The need for translational research in autism spectrum disorder:Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) is a life-long neurological disorder that develops from birth or early childhood (from the age of two). The spectrum of the disorder is poorly defined, due to the complex nature of symptoms and variety of clinical presentations. However, the term encompasses categories of symptoms including: impaired development in social communication, emotional functioning (Lecavalier, 2006), social cooperation, displayed by behaviours that are ‘repetitive and stereotyped’ (Ecker et al), compared to interests and actions that are flexible and creative.  The presentation of these behaviours vary in severity between each individual and the development of the symptoms differ over time. This is accompanied by developmental differences in areas of the brain, its functioning and connectivity, affecting the behaviour. According the census figures collected in 2011, 1.1% of the UK population could be diagnosed of ASD, equating to approximately 700,000 people (Baird et al., 2006, Brugha et al., 2009, Brugha et al., 2012). The disorder is also of great concern in the USA, as it is estimated that 1 in 68 children have been identified with having ASD (CDC (Centers for Disease and Control Prevention, 2014) . The causes for the disorder identified thus far are very general, being the inclusion of both genetic and environmental factors, emphasising the importance of gaining knowledge of the specific neural pathways and how they are linked with each other, relating to how drugs are prescribed to target the pathways involved.Colloca et al. (2011), explains the need for translational research, where they state that laboratory research itself has excelled and progressed to a great degree recently, enabling people to understand effects of the placebo and nocebo nature. However, minimal progress has been made in applying this in patient care.  The advancement of the theory based on the placebo and nocebo effects is said to work in the same unit with translational research. A placebo effect describes an effect in a psychosocial context, beneficial to the patient taking that drug (pure (inert substances) or impure placebos (vitamin used to treat pain rather than a vitamin deficiency) (Coloca et al., 2011)) or undergoing the treatment, not because of the inherent properties or features of the drug or the treatment, but due to the expectations of the drug or treatment providing benefiting the patient.On the other hand, the nocebo effect is presented when negative outcomes arise (through providing information of the side-effects, affecting the brain-mind-body interactions, counteracting the benificial impact the drug expects to deliver), which are actually unrelated to the intended action of the drug. Such examples include some SSRIs (Selective Serotonin Reuptake Inhibitors) and antipsychotic medicines (Myers et al., 2007), that are not confirmed to all the symptoms expressed, due to the wide spectrum of the disorder. The results mentioned were attained through analysing ‘Specific neuromodulators’ (Colloca et al) and specific regions of the brain that are linked to both the placebo and nocebo effects. This clearly displays the prospect this discovery has when applied. However, Colloca et al. have emphasised the difficulty in actually translating what has been found into the clinical setting. This is due to the restricted knowledge in providing information about the link and application of the effects to the clinicians. From this, it can be said that strategies need to be built up to guide the healthcare groups to achieve maximum placebo effects and minimum nocebo effects in daily clinical practice. Moreover, what needs to be focused on is reducing dependency in achieving a placebo effect itself, rather, increasing the efficacy in treating the patient’s condition because of the therapeutic properties of the treatment itself (Colloca et al., 2011).  This might mean attending to neurotechnology and neuroimaging first before developing specific, individualised drugs. From the promising study conducted on placebo and nocebo effects, refined imaging for diagnosis with greater precision should in fact result in earlier and improved diagnosis and treatment to provide a beneficial impact for the patient.Studies on autism (the main vision proposed):Even though  ‘The decade of the brain’ (George. H. W. Bush) (1990-1999) was known for a great progress in attaining knowledge of the human mind and its inner workings,  increased understanding of neuroscience, studies of social cognition and understanding problems arising in other’s minds have been happening over ‘The last 30 years’ ( Hamilton et al). However, this has been overtaken by the thought of ‘Theory of mind’, which is attempting to analyse the ‘internal, mental states of other individuals’ (Hamilton et al.). Studies conducted of atypical development were known to instruct and update studies of typical development (Coch et al). Specifically, the experiments done aimed to inform about the ‘Neural systems’ (Coch et al) associated with the developments of the typical brain. This was done by studying infants who experienced disruption or abnormal growth of the brain and memoryFollowing this thought, neuroimaging studies from approximately the last fifteen years were drawn, which presented the knowledge that there are two specific networks or systems present in the brain activated when normal individuals are involved in ‘non-verbal social interactions’ (Hamilton et al.), consisting of being attentive to certain actions and connecting them to the appropriate goals. Accompanying these actions can be duplicating those actions, and taking note of the individual’s beliefs and desires of the action. These are the ‘Mirror neuron system’ and ‘Mentalizing system’. The mirror neuron system is involved in single cells responding to an individual conducting an action and observing an action equivalent to that. The mentalizing system in comparison is actually the process of connecting the observed internal mental states to another individual. However, individuals with ASD may not make these same attributions.From the discovery of the two systems, two competing theories claiming that people with autism have difficulty understanding goals and intentions of others were developed: the ‘Mentalizing theory’ and the ‘Broken mirror theory’. Both these theories explain that the two systems are not functioning normally in individuals with ASD and have been tested and evaluated in controlled experiments.Focusing on observing certain actions; multiple studies have been conducted and have concluded inadequate performance in imitation by children with ASD in comparison to typical children when asked to carry out tasks including ‘Imitation of meaningless actions, mimicry of facial expressions and the spatial perspective taking component of imitation.’However, conventional neuroimaging approaches of pure observation and straightforward MRI or PET scans consisted of testing two or more different groups to reveal and compare the pathology of the brains of the participants using ‘average parameter values’ (Ecker et al., 2014). This did provide minimal reports about the pathologies in the neural systems of specific individuals (Ecker et al., 2014). However, through advances made in the specificity of translational research, modern techniques of incorporating neuroimaging and biological data of the participants leads to a clear distinction between the two control groups, leading to the pathology being determined in a more conclusive manner. This asserts the importance of ‘reverse translation’ (Insel, 2007), where studies are done within the human neuroanatomy prior to development of the treatment or drug. The results gathered led to the statement that there is an abnormality in autism, as suggested by Williams et al (2004). To the contrary, progressing forward, Beadle-Brown (2004) stated that successful imitation was observed in ‘hand actions’ in their experiment and so were ‘facial expressions’ when investigated by McIntosh et al (2006). Moreover, autistic individuals display improved performance in an imitation task with a great deal of structure compared to a task consisting of spontaneous imitation (Hepburn and Stone, 2006). Even though this certainly reveals the progress made by combination of translational research and neuroscience, two contradicting pose the question whether these results can be trusted today, more than a decade later. Thus, to acquire definitive interpretation, instead of just simply observing the participants, neuroimaging methods are crucial in providing accurate objective observations of the functioning of the brain in the participants.The use of neuroimaging methods reiterates the ‘Porosity’ of translational research affirmed by Brosnan and Michael (2014), as meticulous experiments were conducted by Oberman et al (2005) to discover that mu wave suppression (patterns of synchronized electrical activity that are suppressed when performing or observing a motor action, involving large numbers of pyramidal neurons located in the cerebral cortex, hippocampus and amygdala) was detected in the autistic participants when carrying out the tasks, compared with unaffected individuals. This complements the revelation V.S. Ramachandran (2000) gave, when he identified the involvement of the mirror neuron system in mu wave suppression. This strengthens the vision translational research holds, as it combines both earlier and more recent discoveries to bring about theories of the mirror neuron system. Moreover, experiments conducted by Theoret, Halligan, Obayashi, Fregni, Tager-Flusberg and Pascal-Leone (2005) exhibited that ‘Motor evoked potentials’ (potentials recorded from muscles) Theoret et al., 2005), generated by transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) during observing the action, were decreased in autistic participants. When comparing these results between the two groups, no differences in magneto-encephalographic recording were identified between unaffected and autistic participants when observing their hand actions (Avikeine, Kulomaki and Hari, 1999). Even though strong conclusions were made, the drawbacks of the above experiments included having a low number of participants and more importantly, measures with very limited localization of effect were used. This corresponds to the evaluation given by Ecker et al., (2014) that these studies, if done on a large-scale basis, may not clarify which particular aspects of the neuron systems and neuroanatomy as a whole are affected in ASD.Hence, fMRI (functional Magnetic Resonance Imaging) display Conclusion:Ecket and Murphy (2014) have proposed actions to identify and establish specific definite neuroimaging markers that allow for detection of the explicit pathways which can then be practied in translational medicine. This further strengthens the prospect translational research holds with regards to providing more detailed information about the workings of the brain in individuals with ASD.