A news feature in Nature discusses a recent study of 1,099 children, adolescents and young adults in several US cities that found poverty associated in a dose-response manner with poorer brain development.
“The brains of children from the lowest income bracket — less than US$25,000 — had up to 6% less surface area than did those of children from families making more than US$150,000, the researchers found,” reports Nature. “In children from the poorest families, income disparities of a few thousand dollars were associated with major differences in brain structure, particularly in areas associated with language and decision-making skills. Children’s scores on tests measuring cognitive skills, such as reading and memory ability, also declined with parental income.”
Poverty shrinks brains from birth (Nature, March 30, 2015)