Impact of poverty on brain development comparable to stroke, study finds

Science Daily reports:

In a study recently accepted for publication in the Journal of Cognitive Neuroscience, scientists at UC Berkeley’s Helen Wills Neuroscience Institute and the School of Public Health report that normal 9- and 10-year-olds differing only in socioeconomic status have detectable differences in the response of their prefrontal cortex, the part of the brain that is critical for problem solving and creativity.

“Kids from lower socioeconomic levels show brain physiology patterns similar to someone who actually had damage in the frontal lobe as an adult,” said Robert Knight, director of the institute and a UC Berkeley professor of psychology. “We found that kids are more likely to have a low response if they have low socioeconomic status, though not everyone who is poor has low frontal lobe response.”


One response to “Impact of poverty on brain development comparable to stroke, study finds

  1. Cheri Sheridan

    This is fascinating. I have been an educator for years and a devoted student of the brain. In 2007 I had a craniotomy as the result of a non-bleed stroke that created three aneurysms. I just had testing done at the Mayo and they claim that I am very, very smart, but have trouble with focus, attention and processing. I got an ADHD brain at the age of 51. I can tell parents and teachers what it is like!