Poverty able to shape early brain development

A US study has found children in families living with incomes under 200% of the poverty line have less grey matter – brain tissue critical for information processing – than kids growing up in families with higher incomes.

The researchers used MRI (magnetic resonance imaging) technology to measure the brain development of 77 children between five months and four years of age from economically diverse backgrounds.

The lack of grey matter is most prominent in the early development of the parietal and frontal regions of the brain. The parietal lobe helps connect different parts of the brain to make use of information, while the frontal lobe controls attention and behaviour.

Deficits in these regions are thought to explain behavioural, learning and attention problems seen to be more common among disadvantaged children.

Read more at University of Wisconsin-Madison