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Poverty linked to reduced brain development in children

July 29, 2015

Children from families living below the federal poverty level are at risk for reduced development of gray matter in the frontal and temporal lobes, according to recent study data.

“The novel evidence presented in this study seems to suggest that one component linking parental socioeconomic status to children’s achievement and human capital more broadly operates through a neurobiological mechanism,” Nicole L. Hair, PhD, of the department of health management and policy at the University of Michigan, and colleagues wrote. “Our work suggests that specific brain structures tied to processes critical for learning and educational functioning are vulnerable to the environmental circumstances of poverty, such as stress, limited stimulation, and nutrition.”

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